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Quantrill and the Border Wars 



Quantrill and the Border Wars 


William Elsey Connelley 

Author of "Doniphan's Expedition. Mexican War," "Memoirs of John 
Jame* Infalls." "Wyandot Folk-Lore," "The Heckewelder Narra- 
tive," "The Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory," etc. 










THE border wars must be taken to constitute a phase of 
that critical period in American history when two an- 
tagonistic fundamentals of government contended for 
supremacy. The devotion of adherents to respective principles 
was fanatical and fierce, and unusual animosities were en- 

By stormy conventions the two ideas of the destiny of our 
common country were reconciled in our growth to the Mississippi. 
Newly bound and hedged about, they were flung upon the soil 
of Missouri. But the compromise of a principle is a crime, and 
the feeble barriers set by time-serving statesmen became tense 
and strained. The advance-guard of a higher national life burst 
them asunder and emerged upon the Great Plains. There the 
contest to maintain itself became a grapple for the existence of 
the government, and ended in civil war. 

The story of the border is the history of preliminary forays 
and the shock of army upon army in the national contest. It 
covers ten years. In wealth of romantic incidents, stirring ad- 
ventures, hair-breadth escapes, sanguinary ambuscades, deadly 
encounters, individual vengeance, relentless desolation of towns 
and communities, and bloody murder, no other part of America 
can compare with it. Some future Scott will make himself im- 
mortal by telling this wonderful story. 

This is the first effort, it is believed, to make any serious 
study of the conditions prevailing on the border. The state of 
society about Lawrence as shown in the year 1860 may be ac- 
cepted as representative of the general conditions found in' 
Kansas up to the Civil War, and no attempt to describe them 
has been found. The state of disorder in Missouri was the re- 
sult in some degree of the reaction upon itself of its course in 
Kansas. The time has not yet come when a dispassionate study 
of the conditions which existed in Missouri will be acceptable 


to all the people of that great commonwealth. But the position 
that the Missourian suffered most from his brother Missourian 
is founded on facts and will be sustained by future writers. 

Nothing has been written in a sensational way. The simple 
statement of what occurred is sensational enough, and the old 
idea that truth is stranger than fiction is demonstrated. 

Except the men at the heads of the respective govern- 
ments, and some of the leading generals, Quantrill is the most 
widely-known man connected with the Civil War. His place in 
the public estimation of the South was based upon a misappre- 
hension of his life and motives. He voluntarily imposed himself 
on the South. He told little of his prior life, and that which he 
did tell was wholly untrue. It is due to the South that his life 
be revealed as it actually was. That done, his character and his 
motives stand clearly outlined. Heretofore there has been noth- 
ing on which to base a reason for many incidents in the warfare 
of the border. 

It is one of the strange decrees of fate that the normal man 
is rarely mentioned in history or literature. The citizen who 
labors diligently to support his family, to build up his city, to 
sustain his state, gets little or no notice in the annals of his time. 
It is the abnormal man, the man in desperate extremity, who is 
portrayed for the amusement or instruction of mankind. 

This work could never have been written fully but for the 
preliminary labors of the late W. W. Scott, editor of the Iron 
Valley Reporter, Canal Dover, Ohio. He grew up with Quan- 
trill, and it was his desire to write an account of the life of the 
noted guerrilla. He secured from Mrs. Quantrill the letters writ- 
ten her by her son. He traveled extensively to secure facts. He 
located the grave and removed the body. Mrs. Quantrill stipu- 
lated that the story of her son should not be written in her life- 
time. But she outlived Mr. Scott, and he never got beyond the 
point of gathering material. After his death the author bought 
his papers. 

Many of the most stirring events of the border wars do not 
properly fall within the scope of this work. It is the intention of 
the author to publish another book in which will appear adequate 


accounts of the transactions and doings in the Border Wars of 
Atchison, Lane, Brown, Robinson, Thayer, Shelby, Jennison, 
Hoyt, Bill Anderson, Clements, the Youngers, the James boys, 
George Todd, Senator Steven B. Elkins, Captain William H. 
Gregg, and the operations generally of Free-State pioneers, bor- 
der-ruffians, Red Legs, Guerrillas, and Jayhawkers in the dis- 
orders on the border. 

The author realizes that there may be some objection to 
the repetition of the statement in the notes that documents cited 
as authority may be found in his Collection. But long and per- 
sistent effort failed to devise a better plan. 

This is not designed to be a ''Life" of Quantrill, but an 
account of those incidents of the Border Wars in which he and 
his men were the leading characters. All that could be learned 
of the famous outlaw and his family has been set down. It 
was necessary that this work should be written. Little of 
the story has ever been told. There has been no definite in- 
formation. All has been myth, doubt, assertion, beautiful gen- 
eralization, conjecture. In a general way it has been known that 
banditti infested the border, that ruthless hands were red with 
blood, that many a night flared red with burning homes and 
sacked towns. But of the family and parentage of Quantrill, 
his life in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas of his trip to Utah and 
Pike's Peak, his school, his life at Lawrence, and the Morgan 
Walker raid of the organization of his band of guerrillas, its 
operations in Missouri, Kansas, Texas, and what is now Okla- 
homa, of his expulsion therefrom and the disintegration thereof 
of his life with Kate Clarke, his expedition to Kentucky and 
his operations there of his death, burial, and exhumation 
of these things no man has been able to speak with confidence, 
for knowledge of them was not at hand. And the importance of 
this information is realized when we remember that it embraces 
much of the history of four states in the Civil War and portrays 
the bloodiest man known to the annals of America. 

There is no good portrait of Quantrill. He had a tin-type 


made at the beginning of the war. It was lost in the yard of one 
Fields, in Jackson county, who found it and preserved it until 
Thomson Quantrill came to Missouri. He demanded the pic- 
ture and it was given to him, but it was first photographed. The 
photographs made from this tin-type, which had lain in the 
ground some time, are all the portraits known of Quantrill. 
Some one supposed he wore a mustache, and with a brush sup- 
plied one. E. P. DeHart had the portrait painted in Confed- 
erate uniform in company with a character known as "Indian 
Jim," no copy of which has been found. A. M. Winner, Kansas 
City, Mo., had it painted in Confederate uniform, rank of 
Colonel, prints of which are common. 

816 Lincoln Street 
Topeka, Kansas 
July 3, 1909 




BAKER, H. W 351 



CITY HOTEL, LAWRENCE, ("Where the prisoners were taken) 344 

CLARKE, HENRY S '. . . 358 


COLLAMORE, GEORGE W. . . . . -: . . 352 

COLT, COLONEL SAMUEL . . . . V . . 320 

CRANE, JOHN L .<; 354 



FISHER, KEY. H. D. .. ... . . . 362 


GRISWOLD, DR. J. F. . . . . . . . 350 






HULSE, WILLIAM . . .... . . 240 














1. Showing Quantrill's Operations in Kansas facing index 

2. Showing Localities in Lawrence at time of Massacre 

. facing page 335 

3. Plan of Morgan Walker House .... 157 

4. Fletcher Farm and Ottawa Crossing . . . 402 

5. Attack on Fort Baxter 423 

6. Baxter Springs Massacre 426 

7. The Wakefield Farm . v ' -. , - . . . 472 
McMuRTRY, LEE . . . .-''.. . . . 257 
FARMER, ALLEN .... . .'i . . . 464 



1. As United States Senator 40S 

2. In Uniform of Major . . . . .411 


QUANTRILL, WILLIAM C frontispiece 

QUANTRILL, WILLIAM C., in Confederate Uniform . 421 





READ, FRED W. 367 

REVOLVER, COLT'S NAVY, Model of 1843 ... 321 



SHARPS 's RIFLE Carried in Morgan Walker Raid by Edwin 

Morrison 152 

SHAWNEE HOUSE, LAWRENCE, (the old Waverley House) 385 


SPEER, JOHN, the Covenanter 38S 



TAYLOR, FLETCH . . . . . . . . 440 

THORPE, S. M 351 









Chapter I 


Chapter II 


Chapter III 


Chapter IV 

Chapter V 

Chapter VI 

Chapter VII 



Chapter VIII 



Chapter IX 



Chapter X 


MORGAN WALKER RAID . . . . ,-.," 152 
Chapter XI 



Chapter XII 

Chapter XIII 



Chapter XIV 

Chapter XV 


Chapter XVI 



Chapter XVII 


HOUSE . . . -v. 236 

Chapter XVIII 


HOUSE 248 

Chapter XIX 

QUANTRILL IN THE SUMMER OF 1862 . . . . ^ 254 
Chapter XX 


Chapter XXI 

Chapter XXII 

Chapter XXIII 


Chapter XXIV 


Chapter XXV 


Chapter XXVI 


Chapter XXVII 


Chapter XXVIII 


Chapter XXIX 



Chapter XXX 



Chapter XXXI 



Chapter XXXII 

Chapter XXXIII 

Chapter XXXIV 

Chapter XXXV 

Chapter XXXVI 


Chapter XXXVII 


Chapter XXXVIII 


Chapter XXXIX 

DEATH 480 


HAGERSTOWN, Maryland, seems to have been the seat 
of the Quantrill family in America. No effort to trace 
its origin has been made, but from what information 
there is to be had on the subject and from a study of the Chris- 
tian names, it would appear that the family is of English ex- 
traction. And Captain Thomas Quantrill boasted that his an- 
cestors came from England to Maryland, and that they were 
pure English. 

Thomas Quantrill was the captain of a company raised at 
Hagerstown for service in the War of 1812. It is of record that 
he was a brave soldier, and that he was wounded at the battle 
of North Point, as were two of his men, Lazarus B. Wilson and 
his brother Samuel. And a number were killed. 1 

Captain Thomas Quantrill was a blacksmith at Hagerstown. 
He married Miss Judith Heiser, a sister of William Heiser, a 
man of high character, for many years the president of a bank 
at Hagerstown, and a man of wealth. 2 

i Letter of Oliver M. Wilson, Kansas City, Kansas, April 2, 1898, to 
W. W. Scott, now in the Collection of the author. Wilson was the son of 
the soldier, Lazarus B. Wilson. He mentions a history and roster of 
Captain Thomas Quan trill's Company as being in his possession. 

a Thomas Quantrill quit his trade and became a horse-trader. 

He was a blacksmith and married Judy Heiser, sister of William 
Heiser, for a great many years president of the Hagerstown bank and one 
of the wealthiest men in the locality and of high character. Probably the 
wealth of his brother-in-law fired the ambition of Mr. Thomas Quantrill 
to make riches faster than over the anvil. For he gave up blacksmithing 
and turned horse trader. Our informant recalls yet more than one instance 
that got abroad of Mr. Quantrill 's sharp practices in horse-dealing. He 
was a handsome man, dressed well, lived fast, and merely gained the 
reputation of a sharp operator who was to be watched in a business 
transaction; he didn't forfeit his standing in the community beyond this 
notoriety for sharp-dealing. Clipping from the Keokuk, Iowa, Gate City, 
August 17, 1882, now in the Collection of the author. 

The Quantrill blood was evidently bad, the grandfather of the raider 


A number of children were born to Captain Thomas Quan- 
trill at Hagerstown, among them William (so named for his 
Uncle William Heiser), Archibald, Thomas Henry, and Jesse 
Duncan. The last named died when eight or nine years old, and 
William's name was changed to Jesse Duncan. There were other 
sons, the names of whom are not remembered. One of them, it 
is said, became a pirate on the high seas, operating many years 
on the Gulf of Mexico between Galveston Island and the mouth 
of the Sabine; but this may have been a brother of Captain 
Thomas Quantrill. 

Captain Thomas Quantrill often visited his son Thomas 
Henry, in Canal Dover, where he was regarded as a man of fine 
appearance.^ He moved to Washington City, where he died of 
apoplexy. He was stricken in front of the Treasury building 
and died suddenly. 

Jesse Duncan Quantrill was sent to New York City to at- 
tend school. He returned to Hagerstown with two accomplish- 
ments boxing and great skill with a pen. He was his father's 
favorite, was indulged, and grew up in idleness and mischief. 
He was a sort of fop or dandy with criminal instincts and ten- 
dencies, a dashing, handsome man, wholly devoid of moral char- 
was a professional gambler. I knew him pretty well, having been introduced 
to him by his son, Thomas H. Quantrill, at Dover, and met him afterwards, 
occasionally in this city. A brother of Thomas H. Quantrill was what 
would now be called a confidence man; he traveled through the Southern 
States, locating in some city where he would engage himself to the Belle 
of the place and buy all the jewelry, watches, carriages, etc., he could get 
credit for and just about the time the bills would come due, would skip to 
some other place and go through the same performance. He was finally 
arrested, tried and convicted, and sentenced to states prison for twenty 
years. Letter of John W. Harmon, 1837 Dean Street, Brooklyn, N. Y., 
December 19, 1900, to W. W. Scott, now in the Collection of the author. 

John W. Harmon was a traveling salesman who lived many years in 
Canal Dover, Ohio, and who moved to Brooklyn. He was a man of excellent 
character, as the author is informed by Mrs. Frances Beeson Thompson, 
daughter of H. V. Beeson, who kneiv him until the Beeson family came to 

It will be noted that Captain Thomas Quantrill visited Brooklyn. 
Perhaps he did so in his vocation of professional gambler. 

3 I have seen old Mr. Quantrill the father of Thos. In Canal Dover 
frequently, a tall 6 foot portly old Gent., quite respectf ull looking. From 
letter of H. V. Beeson, "Paolo., Kansas, June 5, 1.880, to W. W. Scott, now 
in the Collection of the author. 


acter. Mary Lane, daughter of Seth Lane, said to have been one 
of the foremost citizens of Hagerstown, became infatuated with 
him, and they were clandestinely married. She was to inherit 
a considerable sum of money at a certain age which she had not 
attained by a year when married. By making a very full and 
sweeping relinquishment he secured this money from the bank 
in which it had been deposited, and which, it was affirmed, be- 
longed in part to Seth Lane and his son. When his wife had 
attained her majority he endeavored to collect the money again, 
alleging that the bank had no legal right to pay the money at 
the time it had been paid. 

With the money of his wife he had engaged in the grocery 
business at Williamsport, Md. This business was a failure, and 
the money was lost. He then determined to engage in larger 
operations. He went to New York City, where he represented 
himself to be the son of a wealthy Virginia merchant well known 
there, and purchased on credit a large stock of goods, which he 
caused to be shipped to himself at Baltimore. This swindle was 
discovered by the merchants in time to stop a portion of the 
shipment and save some of the goods. But he succeeded in dis- 
posing of a part of the merchandise in a way which baffled all 
attempts to trace it. To avoid the consequences of this transac- 
tion he availed himself of the benefit of the law for bankrupts, 
but as his action was based on fraud he was cast into prison. 
For six months his beautiful wife shared his cell. He finally se- 
cured an acquittal and was released. While in prison he had 
read law under directions from William Price, one of the lead- 
ing lawyers of Western Maryland. 

From Maryland Jesse D. Quantrill went to St. Louis, Mo., 
where he was soon in trouble and in jail, securing his release 
finally through the efforts of his wife, who still clung to him. 
Upon his release he took boat for Cincinnati, and while on board 
committed a forgery which seems to have been discovered at 
once, and for which he escaped punishment. From Cincinnati 
he went to New Orleans, where he became dissipated and began 
to neglect and abuse his wife. She fell ill, and her condition 
appeared to work a change in him. He started by boat to take 
her home to Maryland; but while the boat was yet on the Mis- 


sissippi river he committed a forgery on a Cincinnati bank. He 
was soon detected in this crime, was taken to Cincinnati and 
thrown into jail. After a confinement in prison of seven months 
his wife succeeded in securing him bail, which he forfeited by 
not appearing for trial, deserting his wife at that place. She 
next heard of him at Hagerstown, where he was in trouble for 
a forgery he committed there, but for which he escaped con- 
viction. He then went to Pennsylvania, where he was sentenced 
to a term of imprisonment in the penitentiary for forgery, and 
he served three years. While serving this sentence his wife se- 
cured a divorce from him, it is said, by the act of the Maryland 
Legislature. When he heard of her action in procuring the 
divorce he made many savage threats against her life. But upon 
his release from prison he married a Pennsylvania lady, and 
was soon thereafter arrested for another forgery, for which he 
was sentenced to a term of seven years in the penitentiary. 

Meanwhile, Mrs. Quantrill had married Mr. A. Cowton, 
proprietor of the United States Hotel, Cumberland, Maryland, 
with whom she was living happily. Quantrill was released from 
the Pennsylvania penitentiary in 1848. In March, 1849, he ap- 
peared in Cumberland. On the fifth of that month Mrs. Cowton 
was in her apartments, when a servant showed up a gentleman 
who had just arrived in the city. He dismissed the servant, and 
closed and locked the door. He then turned to Mrs. Cowton, 
who was horrified to behold Quantrill, her former husband. There 
was murder in his looks, and she screamed for help. He told 
her that her hour had come, caught her by the throat, threw 
her to the floor, placed his knee upon her breast, and snapped a 
pistol in her face. When the pistol missed fire, and just as he 
was drawing a long knife, several persons who had been attracted 
by her screams, broke down the door and rescued Mrs. Cowton. 
For this attempt to murder he was sentenced to a term of im- 
prisonment. He must have possessed a fascinating personality, 
for he soon obtained an unaccountable influence over the prison 
officials and was allowed considerable freedom, even acting as 
guard over other prisoners. In 1851 he was pardoned upon con- 
dition that he would leave the state and never return. 

When Jesse D. Quantrill left Maryland he went to Canal 


Dover, Ohio, where his brother Thomas Henry then lived. There 
he was engaged for a time as jockey and horse-dealer, for or in 
connection with his father. And it is quite probable that the 
resident brother was interested in the business. The horses 
were purchased and prepared for the markets in the cities to the 
east. The tails of the horses were scored on the under side and 
then tied up in an elevated position to heal, usually suspended 
for a time from an over-head beam. This was a cruel process, 
resorted to for the purpose of causing the horse's tail when 
healed to stand away from the body, giving it a graceful car- 
riage, greatly improving the general appearance of the animal. 
After a year or two spent in this business at Canal Dover, Jesse 
D. Quantrill disappeared and never returned there, though in- 
telligence of him and his doings reached the village for years 
afterwards. It was known that he assumed various names, one 
of which was Dr. Hayne ; he was also known as Jesse Elliott and 
Jesse Elliott Quantrill. He married and deserted six women.* 
There has been much said of a John Quantrill who was be- 
lieved to have become a guerrilla in the West during the Civil 
War. It was supposed that he was in Missouri, from whence he 

4 Thomas Quantrill and myself at one time had a conversation about 
this Jesse E. Quantrill, he was a Dead beat and confidence man Mr. Quant- 
rill informed me that he took the name of Elliott for his middle name 
unlawfully & for some reason he thought strange he also informed me 
Jesse E. went to Philadelphia and bought up Horses, stages &c. to start 
opposition lines of stages from Philadelphia & Baltimore against the great 
contractor Beeside that the Stage Co Bought him off at a Big Price 
He also informed me that he, Jesse E. went by the name of Doctor Hayne 
that he had been in about every Penitentiary in Penn., Maryland, Virginia 
& Kentucky and Perhaps Ohio. My impression was that he was a Bro 
or Cousin of the Mr. Thos Quantrill. From letter of H. V, Beeson, Paola, 
Kansas, June 5, 1880, to W. W. Scott, now in the Collection of the author. 

This account of Jesse D. Quantrill is taken from various sources, 
principally from articles in newspapers, the most important of which were 
published in the Philadelphia Times in 1884, in the New York Graphic, by 
"Gath" (George Alfred Townsend) in 1881, and in the Keokuk, Iowa, 
Gate City, August 17, 1882. There is much error and confusion in these 
and all other articles examined on the subject, most of them supposing 
Jessed D. Quantrill 'to have been the guerrilla, William C. Quantrill. "Gath" 
makes William C. Quantrill the son of Jesse D. But there is much that 
is true and accurately stated in them. The career of Jesse D. Quantrill 
as set out here may be relied upon as correct. By his first wife he had a 
son, named Lawrence Quantrill. 


found his way to Texas, where he was befriended by a brother 
Freemason named Imboden. He is credited with having been 
a dead shot, and with having killed thirty-eight men in one bat- 
tle. It is asserted that he died in New Orleans of wounds, of 
which he received many. There is nothing positively known of 
this John Quantrill, and it is probable that he originated in the 
vague conjectures as to the identity of William C. Quantrill. 

Archibald Quantill was a printer and was at one time a com- 
positor on the National Intelligencer, Washington City. He 
must have been among the younger children of Captain Thomas 
Quantrill, for he married Miss Mary A. Sands, whose age is given 
as thirty-two in 1862. Mrs. Mary A. Quantrill was a staunch 
and loyal supporter of the Union during the Civil War. Her 
brother, George W. Sands, was a member of the Maryland Legis- 
lature and was U. S. collector of internal revenue under Presi- 
dent Lincoln. In September, 1862, Stonewall Jackson parted 
from General Lee at Frederick, Maryland, on his way to besiege 
Harper's Ferry. As Jackson passed through Frederick Mrs. 
Quantrill and her daughter Virginia, afterwards Mrs. Perry 
Brown, were standing at their gate waving a number of flags 
the Stars and Stripes. The soldiers angrily ordered them to 
throw down the flags, and a lieutenant, with his sword, cut a flag 
from the hands of Virginia Quantrill. But she continued to 
wave Old Glory, and it was again cut from her hands by the lieu- 
tenant 's sword. Mrs. Quantrill then took up a large flag which 
she waved aloft until the army had passed through the town. 
Many of the Confederate officers and some of the soldiers 
applauded her, an officer saying with a salute and marked cour- 
tesy, "To you, madam, not to your flag." Archibald Quantrill 
was in Washington City at the time at work at his trade. For 
this brave and patriotic act these women have not had proper 
credit. Indeed, they have been robbed of the fame of the deed 
by a great poet, and a decrepit and bed-ridden lady of Frederick 
given the honor for something she did not do. 5 

s This incident inspired the beautiful and patriotic poem of Whittier, 
entitled Barbara Frietchie. Barbara lived some distance from the line of 
march, and it is not probable that she saw any of the soldiers who marched 
through Frederick that day. She was loyal and brave, it has been claimed, 


became a tinner. 

Thomas Henry Quantrill was born at Hagerstown, Md., Feb- 
ruary 19, 1813. He was a tinker by trade. 6 He afterwards 
He had relatives, the Heisers, living at Cham- 
bersburg, Pa., whom he visited, perhaps in 
the strolling vocation of tinker. With one 
of these he learned the tinner trade. While 
there he met Miss Caroline Cornelia Clarke 
(or Clark) and became engaged to marry 
her. Some relative had persuaded him 
that it would be to his advantage to settle 
at Canal Dover, Ohio, and he had deter- 
mined to go there for that purpose in the 
fall of 1836. Several Hagerstown people 
were settling at Canal Dover about that 
time. It was his wish that Miss Clarke 
should accompany him as his wife, and they were married at 

6 Statement of Mrs. Caroline Clarke Quantrill, his widow, published 
in the Chicago Herald, March 4, 1894. 

There is some reason to believe that the name of Thomas Henry 
Quantrill was in fact Thomas Hart Quantrill, or that it had been at one 
time. In the family Bible it is written Thomas Henry, but the Quantrills 
seem to have been addicted to the habit of changing their names. His son, 
the guerrilla, assumed the name of Charley Hart in Kansas to conceal his 
identity, and it has been said that he used the name Hart because it had 
belonged to his father. He always went by the name of Charley Quantrill 
in Missouri. For the purposes of treachery he often pretended to be a 
Federal Captain Clarke, and he was known as Captain Clarke in Kentucky 
in the spring of 1865, and he gave that as his name at first when mortally 

QuantrilTs Father 

and would have waved her flag in the face of General Jackson himself if 
she had been given an opportunity. Her house is still standing, on the 
banks of Carroll creek, in Frederick. Whittier stated thafr he secured his 
information of this matter from Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth, the novelist. 
There is now doubt as to the loyalty of Barbara Frietchie. Prof. 
E. Haworth, of the Kansas University, informs me that she was a staunch 
supporter of the Southern Confederacy. This information he had from 
her relatives. The poem is as follows: 


["This poem," says Mr. Whittier, "was written in strict conformity 
to the account of the incident as I had it from respectable and trustworthy 


Chambersburg, October 11, 1836. A little later he secured a 
contract to do some tin work in Canal Dover for Louis L. Lee, 
and as this work was to be done at once, the young people set 
out immediately. The contract was secured towards the latter 
part of November. They drove overland in their own buggy and 
arrived in December, stopping at 
first at the public house or tav- 
ern, where they remained but a 
short time, going to housekeeping 
hi what was locally known as the 
"Tom West house" with S. Scott 
and wife7 This was a small one- 
story frame house near the corner 
of Factory and Fourth streets. Hwue b 
It was afterwards in the Quantrill w " bom 

family, seemingly the property of Captain Thomas Quantrill, 

7 Memo, made by W. W. Scott, now in the Collection of the author. 

sources. It has since been the subject of a good deal of conflicting testi- 
mony, and the story was probably incorrect in some of its details. It is 
admitted by all that Barbara Frietchie was no myth, but a worthy and 
highly esteemed gentle-woman intensely loyal and a hater of the Slavery 
Rebellion, holding her Union flag sacred and keeping it with her Bible; 
that when the Confederates halted before her house, and entered her 
dooryard, she denounced them in vigorous language, shook her cane in 
their faces, and drove them out; and when General Burnside's troops 
followed close upon Jackson's, she waved her flag and cheered them. It 
is stated that May Quantrill, a brave and loyal lady in another part of the 
city, did wave her flag in sight of the Confederates. It is possible that 
there has been a blending of the two incidents."] 

Up from the meadows rich with corn, 
Clear in the cool September morn, 

The clustered spires of Frederick stand 
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland. 

Bound about them orchards sweep, 
Apple and peach tree fruited deep, 

Fair as the garden of the Lord 

To the eyes of the famished rebel horde, 

On that pleasant morn of the early fall 
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall; 

Over the mountains winding down 
Horse and foot, into Frederick town. 



and, later, of Mrs. Caroline C. Quantrill, probably by deed from 
her father-in-law. It was the home of the Quantrills in Canal 
Dover until sold by Mrs. Quantrill about the year 1885. 

Soon after his marriage Thomas Henry Quantrill wrote and 

Forty flags with their silver stars, 
Forty flags with their crimson bars, 

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun 
Of noon looked down, and saw not one. 

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then, 
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten; 

Bravest of all in Frederick town, 

She took up the flag the men hauled down; 

In her attic window the staff she set, 
To show that one heart was loyal yet. 

Up the street came the rebel tread, 
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead. 

Under his slouched hat left and right 
He glanced; the old flag met his sight. 

' ' Halt ! " the dust-brown ranks stood fast. 
"Fire!" out blazed the rifle-blast. 

It shivered the window, pane and sash; 
It rent the banner with seam and gash. 

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff 
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf. 

She leaned far out on the window-sill, 
And shook it forth with a royal will. 

"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, 
But spare your country's flag," she said. 

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, 
Over the face of the leader came; 

The nobler nature within him stirred 
To life at that woman's deed and word; 

"Who touches a hair of yon gray head 
Dies like a dog ! March on ! " he said. 

All day long through Frederick street 
Sounded the tread of marching feet; 

All day long that free flag tost 
Over the heads of the rebel host. 

'. ' A 


published a "Lightning Calculator." He was by instinct a 
mathematician, and one of high order, and for several years he 
traveled about and sold his "Calculator." He finally opened 
a tin-shop in Canal Dover. He wrote a book called the "Tin- 
Ever its torn folds rose and fell 
On the loyal winds that loved it well; 

And through the hill-gaps sunset light 
Shone over it with a warm good-night. 

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er, 

And the Eebel rides on his raids no more. 

Honor to her! and let a tear 

Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall 's bier. 

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave, 
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave! 

Peace and order and beauty draw 
Bound thy symbol of light and law; 

And ever the stars above look down 
On the stars below in Frederick town! 

In the Collection of the author there is a newspaper-clipping which 
is an account of this incident. There is nothing to show where or when 
the paper from which it was cut was published, but it is given here: 



It matters little for the purposes of patriotic history that Whittier, 
in his immortal poem, has credited that ancient and worthy dame, Barbara 
Frietchie, with a deed which she, dear old soul, was physically incapable of 
accomplishing. We know too well that on that September morning of 1862, 
when Jackson parted from Lee in Frederick, on his way to besiege Harper's 
Ferry, Stonewall Jackson and his gray legions passed to the west by a 
route which did not take them within two blocks of the now-demolished 
dwelling on West Patrick street, wherein old Barbara, hopelessly bed- 
ridden, was peacefully slumbering. But the aged lady was herself truly 
loyal. She would have waved the Stars and Stripes in the face of Lee's 
whole army, or of Jefferson Davis himself. Her humble grave in the 
Beformed Cemetery at Frederick would look incomplete without the Star- 
Spangled Banner drooping regretfully over it. In a life which wanted but 
four years of a century, old Barbara must have 


The banks of Carroll Creek are favorable to meditation, and it is fair to 


man's Guide" or the " Tinner's Guide," embellished with draw- 
ings showing designs for various articles of tinware and such 
as could be made from sheet-iron pans, pipes, cups, elbows, 
etc. This book was published with money belonging to the 

infer that the historic stream was more picturesque and less odoriferous 
in her days than now, when the tanyards of Frederick pollute it with their 
mingled abominations. From the spot beneath the weeping willow, a 
hundred yards below her home, near the City Spring, Barbara must have 
often looked on the ruinous and picturesque shanty, here depicted and still 
standing, in which the Father of his Country had his headquarters with 
Gen. Braddock and Benjamin Franklin when the ill-fated expedition to 
Fort Duquesne passed through Frederick in 1755. The place is now 
occupied by two colored families, and its dingy rooms suggest a startling 
mental contrast of the state of things then and now. We know that 
Washington, though fitted to grace with his majestic presence the Courts 
of the proudest Empire in the world, retained after his election to the 
Presidency the Spartan simplicity of taste which distinguished him during 
his military career. He may have thought nay he must have thought 
when the world did homage at his feet, of the hours spent in that simple 
cottage on the banks of Carroll Creek. 


But to return to the ancient and neglected Barbara. She was born 
in Lancaster, Pa., in 1766, and died in Frederick on Dec. 18, 1862, three 
months after the episode with which her name is falsely but forever asso- 
ciated. The true honor of the waving of the flag has been shown in the 
light of facts to belong to Mrs. Mary A. Quantrill. The story, as told by 
Joseph Walker, of Washington, D. C., a son-in-law of Mrs. Quantrill, is as 
follows, and contains enough elements of romance to cause no regret at the 
spoiling of Whittier's poem, except in the involuntary and unintentional 
injustice done by the distinguished poet to Mrs. Quantrill herself. 

Mrs. Quantrill was at the time a handsome woman, about 32 years of 
age. Her husband was employed as a compositor on The National Intelli- 
gencer in Washington, while she lived at Frederick with her children. 

On the day when Jackson passed through the Mountain City Mrs. 
Quantrill and her daughter Virgie, afterwards Mrs. Perry Brown, were 
standing at their gate. They had several Union flags, which they waved 
as the troops of Jackson passed by. Virgie was waving a flag when 
several rebel soldiers angrily called to her to throw it down; and, as she 
persisted, a Lieutenant drew his sword and cut the flag from her hand. 
Still she persisted, and once more it was cut down. Then Mrs. Quan- 
trill displayed a larger flag, and continued to wave it till the ranks 
had passed by. They were not further molested. Many of the 
rebel officers and soldiers murmured applause at their courage and treated 
them with marked courtesy, one officer saluting Mrs. Quantrill as he re- 
marked, "To you, madam, not to your flag." 

Whittier says that he derived his information as to Barbara from 
Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth, the well-known novelist. This may well have 
been, but it is very clear that he did not get at the facts. 


appears to have been a woman of superior intelligence. She was for many 
years a teacher in Frederick, and was a frequent contributor to the Evening 


school-fund of the village, perhaps before the organization of 
the Union School. Quantrill was one of the trustees having 
this money in charge. By collusion with one of his colleagues 
the money was used to pay for printing the "Guide." In 
some way H. V. Beeson discovered the misuse of the school- 
funds and called public attention to the matter. This angered 
Quantrill, and he threatened to kill Beeson, which, no doubt, 
he intended to do. One evening, late in autumn, he entered 
Beeson 's house with a cocked derringer in his hand. Beeson, 
at the time, was sitting before his fire heating the point of a 
large iron poker, which, when hot, he intended to plunge into 
a cup of cider which he held in his hand, preparatory to drink- 
ing, a very common method of that day for the treatment of 
cider and other liquors. When Quantrill entered, Beeson rose 
suddenly and struck him on the head with the poker before he 
could shoot, laying him unconscious on the floor with a long 
gash in his scalp. Neighbors came in and carried Quantrill to 
his own house, where he was some time recovering from the 

It was about that time that Quantrill had a difficulty with 
Mrs. Roscoe, the wife of a Frenchman who lived in Canal Dover. 
She gave lessons in painting and was a bright, vivacious woman. 
Quantrill made remarks derogatory to her character. These 
remarks were persisently repeated by him about the village 
and finally came to the ears of Mrs. Roscoe. She armed her- 
self with an old-style "cowhide," sought Quantrill on the 
streets, found him talking to a group of men in a public place, 
and there administered to him a sound whipping or "cow- 

The Canal Dover Union School was organized in 1849. 
In 1850-51 Quantrill was an assistant to the principal. In the 
1851-52 term he was the principal, in which capacity he was 
continued until his death, December 7, 1854. He died of con- 

Herald of York, Pa. She was a Miss Sands, and her brother, George 
W. Sands, was a member of the Maryland Legislature, and U. S. Collector 
of Internal Eevenue under President Lincoln. The troubles between the 
Government and Collector Sands are a matter of recent history. Mrs. 
Quantrill died about six years ago. It is said that she always felt keenly 
the injustice Whittier had done her. A niece and namesake of Mrs. Quan- 
trill was afterwards a clerk in the Treasury Department. 


sumption. He was a good teacher and was much beloved by 
his pupils. 8 

The records in the Quantrill family Bible are as follows: 


Thomas Henry Quantrill and Caroline Cornelia Clarke, 
October 11, 183$. 


William Clarke Quantrill born July 31, 1837. 
Mary Quantrill born September 24, 1838. 
Franklin Quantrill born November 12, 1840. 
MacLindley Quantrill born December 18, 1841. 
Cornelia Lisette Quantrill born June 20, 1843. 
Thomson Quantrill born October 3, 1844. 
Clarke Quantrill born September 5, 1847. 
Archibald Rollin Quantrill born September 27, 1850. 


MacLindley Quantrill died August 26, 1842. 
Cornelia Lisette Quantrill died July 28, 1844. 
Clarke Quantrill died March , 1848. 
Archibald Rollin Quantrill died March 2, 1851.9 

8 Of Thomas Henry Quantrill, Abraham Ellis says, in the Topeka 
Weekly Capital, February 3, 1882: 

His father [Thomas Henry Quantrill, father of William C. Quantrill 
of whom he was speaking] was for many years a teacher in the High School 
in that place [Canal Dover] ; and I never heard anything against his 
character; but two of his brothers died in state prison. One was a high- 
wayman and the other a sea pirate. 

The pirate may have been his uncle. See ante. 

Speaking of the wickedness and depravity of W. C. Quantrill, Ellis, 
in the same article, says, "It was in the bone." 

9 Copied from the Louisville Courier- Journal, May 13, 1888. Mrs. 
Quantrill exhibited the Bible, saying: 

We had eight children in all, but four of them died in their infancy. 
Here, in the old Bible in which the records were kept, you see the names 
and dates. The records were all made by my husband, and I have never 
written a line in the old Bible since his death, which accounts for the 
balance not being in. Only one of my children is still alive. Thomson 
lives in Montana, where he has a family and is doing well. My daughter 
Mary died in 1863. She was never married. My son Franklin died six 
years ago, leaving his wife and four daughters, two of whom are now 
grown. One is a teacher at Canal Dover. 


Mary Quantrill suffered most of her life from curvature 
of the spine. She was a sweet-tempered girl of excellent char- 
acter and followed dressmaking to help support her mother 
and the family. Her sufferings were great but she did not 
complain, and she worked faithfully and patiently until her 

Franklin Quantrill was afflicted with a white swelling in 
one of his knees, which made him a cripple for life. He fol- 
lowed the business of fur-dresser, and perhaps bought and sold 
furs. Nothing whatever appears against his character. 

Thomson Quantrill was a vile, base, worthless, despicable 
but petty scoundrel. In 1879 or 1880 he visited the former 
haunts of his brother William. For some time he was in Jackson 
county, Mo., and aided William H. Gregg to plant his crop of 
corn. He stopped with others of Quantrill 's old command and 
left impressions every time that he was a scurvy cur. 10 He vis- 
ited the Torreys at Paola, Kansas, and stole the pony of their 
daughter Lillie and the revolver of the hired man. 11 

10 His roving brother was here a few days ago, and took dinner with 
me, he was dead broke. He had eyes like Q. and some of his movements re- 
mind me of Q. From letter of Charles F. Taylor ("Fletch" Taylor) to W. 
W. Scott. Dated Joplin, Mo., May 4, 1879. Letter in the Collection of the 

11 Thompson Quantrill, youngest brother of William, visited us in 
1869 or 1870, and put up at Mr. Wagstaff's, nee Torrey, and one day 
borrowed Lillie 's Pony and [the] hired man's revolver, and has as yet 
forgotten to return them. From letter of John 8. Beeson, of Beeson $ 
Baker, Attorney s-at-Law, Paola, Kansas, Nov. SI, 1878, to W. W. Soott, 
now in the Collection of the author. 

Beeson was the son of H. V. Beeson. Thomson Quantrill rode the 
pony to Independence, Mo., though he was some days making the trip, and 
Judge Wagstaff had written there to make inquiry about the pony. When 
shown Wagstaff's letter Quantrill said he would return to Paola and restore 
the pony and revolver. He rode out of town and disappeared and was 
never seen again at either Paola or Independence. The account of this is 
as follows: 

Shortly after the close of the war a man arrived at Judge Wagstaff's 
house and announced himself as Thompson Quantrill, brother of the 
guerilla chief. He had been sent by Mrs. Quantrill to inquire after her 
son's fate, which was then a mystery. Judge Wagstaff gave him all the 
information he possessed and finally gave him a letter of introduction to 
the late lamented Judge Woodson of Independence, who, he believed, knew 
many facts regarding Quantrill. Before leaving, Thompson Quantrill bor- 
rowed a pistol from Judge Wagstaff and borrowed a fine pony from his 
daughter, with a bridle and saddle. Quantrill not appearing for several 




Thomson Quantrill became a vagabond rover, a tramp, a 
hobo, in the West. Letters from him show that he was at or 
near Tucson, Arizona, from February 10, 1888, to April 23, 1888. 
His mother, in the Courier- Journal inter- 
view, May 13, 1888, said: "Thomson lives 
in Montana where he has a family and is 
doing well." She must have made that 
statement knowing it was not true, for 
some of the letters above mentioned were 
written to her, and she received them and 
turned them over to W. W. Scott. 12 

The maiden-name of Quantrill 's 
mother was Caroline Cornelia Clarke. The 
little we know of her early life she told to 
newspaper writers. In an interview printed 
j n the Courier-Journal, May 13, 1888, she 
said she was born in Somerset county, Pa., April 7, 1819, and 

days, Judge Wagstaff wrote to Judge Woodson asking [him] to look out 
for Quantrill, and inform him if he saw him that he was using his 
( Wagstaff 's) property without leave and that he would like to have him 
return it. Judge Woodson had scarcely finished reading the letter when 
Quantrill rode up in a careless, easy style and made known his errand. 
Judge Woodson gave him all the information he possessed and then called 
his attention to Judge Wagstaff 's letter. "I didn't mean to keep it," 
he replied, "but while I was out riding I thought I would ride up here." 
He departed, and from that time neither Judge Woodson nor Judge Wag- 
staff ever saw him again. He disappeared as mysteriously as if swallowed 
up by the earth. There are many surmises regarding his fate, but the 
most plausible one is that some of the old enemies of his brother became 
aware of his presence in the country and his brotherhood to the great 
chief and killed him on his way back to Paola. Kansas City Times, 
November , 1881. Clipping in Quantrill Collection, Library of the Kansas 
State Historical Society. 

12 The letters are now in the Collection of the author. They are 
frivolous and indicate depravity, and exhibit shocking illiteracy. In 1890 
he was at Austin, Texas, from which city he wrote his mother a letter 
which is here reproduced. It is written on the stationery of J. E. Hudson 
& Co., General Merchandise, Burnet, Texas, from which point he probably 
went to Austin. The letter is in fact dated at Burnet, but it was posted 
at Austin, as shown by the postmark: 

Austin Burnet, Texas, Feb 17 1890 

Mrs Caroline Quantrell 

Dear Mother 

i Take The Pleasure of Droping you a fiew Lines To Let you know 
That i am Well and hope you are Well also i Think of you day and night 
and Will Send for you in The Spring I have Left that Part of The Country 


"after my birth in Somerset county my father moved to Cham- 
bersburg, Pa., where I was reared and educated." In a state- 
ment to W. W. Scott she contradicted the above so far as it 
relates to her father, saying that "her father & mother died 
when she was an infant, both [at the] same time, of an epi- 
demic, at Stoyestown, Pa." '3 

Stoyestown is a small village, on Stony Creek, a tributary 
of the Conemaugh, in Somerset county, some twenty miles south 
of Johnstown. In the article above mentioned it was said by the 
reporter that Mrs. Quantrill had "bright light golden hair, blue 
eyes of most intelligent expression, a round face that must once 
have been beautiful, and in which the features of her noted son 
may be traced." I4 She was below the medium height, of good 
form without any approach to obesity, and a catlike manner 
which left the impression that her character was based upon 
treachery and cruelty. 

In an interview printed in the Kansas City, Mo., Journal, 
May 12, 1888, she fixed the date of her birth as April 7, 1820, 
"in Pennsylvania." That she lived at Chambersburg there is 
no doubt, for there Thomas Henry Quantrill met and married 
her, but the circumstances under which she was reared, edu- 

i Was in and am goying To The Capital i Think i Can Catch on to Some- 
thing There The Peopel is Verry kind to me We have PLenty of friends 
out here Every Body is Shaking hant With me i have to Do Something 
Before Spring Did You Eeceive my Last Letter Dont Worry aBout me i 
Will Try and have Money By Spring Texas is my State to Live in it is a 
fine CLimate Would You Like to Live on The Cost The Peopel say i Look 
Brave Like William most all of The Young Ladies fall in Love With me 
BeCause They say i am so hansome i Was at a Big Gathering Lately and 
We had a Big time They Preachiate us highly and Would Like verry much 
to see you i have Something in View i may make it if so i Will have 
PLenty of money if i Win i Will CLise for the Preasant Bight soon and 
tell me all of The News i Will Bight more the Next time give my BespeCts 
to The friends if There is eny 

Yours as Ever an affectinate Son 

Thomas Quantrell address at austin Tranit Co Texas 

By By YCT 

13 Memo, made by Scott on an envelope of a letter of Ann Vandersost 
to him dated December 3, 1888. The letter was an inquiry concerning 
Mrs. Quantrill 's family, saying that it was possible that some relation 
existed through the Clarkes, which proved to be not the case. The letter 
and envelope are in the Collection of the author. 

4 Her hair was brown a dark brown. The red hair of the family 
came from the father. Thomas Henry Quantrill had bright red hair very 
red. He was a tall slim man, thin-breasted and stoop-shouldered. 


cated, and was living there are not known. 1 s She said in the 
Courier- Journal interview already referred to, that Thomas 
Henry Quantrill had relatives living at Chambersburg, and that 
it was while visiting them that he met her. They had been 
engaged for some time before their wedding, starting for Canal 
Dover something more than a month later. 16 

In Mrs. Quantrill's life at Canal Dover there was nothing 
which is of much interest to this work. She was a good house- 
wife. '7 After the death of her husband she found it very diffi- 

15 Being left an orphan when but six months old she was reared in 

the family of an Uncle, Judge Thompson. Clipping from 

Democrat, date unknown, in the Collection of the author. 

Judge Alexander Thompson Scotch-Irish, brother Mrs. Q. 's moth. 
Judge of Somerset and Bedford Cos. Mrs. Q. fath. & Moth, died of epidemic 
when year old had sict died young. Mrs. Q. born at Stoyestown, Pa. 
same year as Queen Victoria. Memo, of W. W. Scott, no date, now in 
the Collection of the author. 

16 Married Oct. 11, 1836. Start for Dover in Nov. 1836, and arrived 
here in December. In their own buggy overland. He had 'contract [with] 
Louis L. Lee to do tin work. There were a number of Hagerstown people 
here. Mrs. Q. was Miss Caroline Clark, of Chambersburg, Pa., 20 miles 
of Hagerstown. Stop at hotel and went to Housekeeping in Tom West 
house with S. Scott & wife. Thomas Quantrill's mother was of a wealthy 
German family near Hagerstown, named Heiser. His father was probably 
of French descent. Memo, of W. W. Scott, no date, now in the Collection 
of the author. 

The Quant, family all went to Washington [from Hagerstown]. 
Quant, claimed [to] be of English descent. old Thos. Quant. 

Quant's sister married John D. Otto. Mary Ann bad. Sister 
Eliza. Cornelia visit Dover. Cornelia married Earnshaw, Harper's Ferry; 
buried Wash't. City. 

Thomas Heiser Q. Bro. Archie, Jesse oldest. Archibald Gov't Printer, 
married twice, 2 boys Thos. Joe. Mary Ann, 1st wife; 3 girls by 2nd wife. 
Archibald's 2nd wife was a Miss Sands, a cousin of his first wife, 
who was Miss Mary 

Old man Thos. Quantrill was 1812 soldier thinks Capt. Claimed 
[to] be of English descent. Born Hagerstown, Md. & probably a black- 
smith. His sons were Jesse Q. and Thomas Heiser Q. Latter came to 
Dover to work for Louis L. Lee, who had been a schoolmate at Hagerstown. 
The father had married Miss Judy Heiser, daughter in a prominent German 
family. Thomas H. Quantrill had learned the tinning business at Cham- 
bersburg, Pa., with his cousin, William Heiser. There he became acquainted 
with a young lady named Caroline Clark, and they were married in 1836 

about. She was born at , Pa., and her parents both 

dying of some epidemic when quite young, she was taken to live with her 
uncle, Judge Thompson, of Chambersburg. Drove out to Dover with their 
own horse and buggy in 7 days; 1836. 

Mrs. Quantrill told me foregoing on train betw. Cincin. & Louisville 
Dec. 87. Memo, of W. W. Scott, now in the Collection of the author. 

1 7 Mrs. Quantrill was a good cook and housekeeper, and that to get 
his victuals properly cooked seemed about all Thomas H. Quantrill cared 


cult to support herself and her children. On this account she 
pushed her eldest son out into the world hoping that he would 
meet with success which would better the condition of all. Her 
temperament was brooding and full of jealousy and malice, and 
the hardships which fell upon her had already embittered her 
life before she was familiar with the criminal career of her son 
in the West. His leaving home was in effect an abandonment 
of his mother. He wrote occasional letters to her for two or 
three years, but he never sent her a cent of money in his life. 
At his death he left his money to be applied to the erection of 
a monument to himself, and to a former mistress with which 
to start a house of ill fame hi St. Louis left nothing to his 
mother. She never heard from him after the Civil War began, 
except indirectly through the newspapers. ' ' I never knew such 
unbounded surprise, ' ' she said, ' ' as when I began to hear of his 
war exploits. I received full accounts, the Ohio people who 
knew me as his mother never failing to send me Northern 
papers with their accounts of what my son William had done." 
This statement cannot be reconciled with others she made on 
the subject. She was familiar with the scalawag character of 
some of the Quantrills, and perhaps she pretended to believe 
the deeds committed by her son were those of some of his rela- 
tives. 18 

Some time after the war W. W. Scott, of Canal Dover, a 
schoolmate, began to investigate the career of W. C. Quantrill. 
Inquiry of the people at Paola, Kansas, with whom he had left 
Canal Dover and gone West, soon convinced him of the true 
identity of the guerrilla chieftain. It was the evidence which 
he obtained there which convinced Mrs. Quantrill. When sure 
that the guerrilla was her son she wished to visit the place where 
he had been killed and see the people who knew him in his last 

for. Mrs. Quantrill had brown hair not red or auburn hair. She was 
of a solitary turn, of a brooding disposition, never going to visit her neigh- 
bors, but sometimes attending the Presbyterian church. Statement of 
Mrs. Frances Beeson Thompson to author, August 30, 1907, now in the 
Collection of the author. 

1 8 His mother never heard of him after the war began and gave him 
up for dead. She could not believe, or at least would not believe, that the 
infamous guerilla was her son. Not until 1887 would she accept the truth, 
and then the proof of it was convincing. Truth, October 17, 1898 ; clip- 
ping in the Collection of the author. 



days. She went to Nelson and Spencer counties in Kentucky, 
and visited the people there with whom he had stopped while 
a bushwhacker in the state, also some of those who served under 
him. 19 In that atmosphere she was soon proud of the course 

19 The trip was made with W. W. Scott. Scott made two trips to 
Louisville to investigate the death of Quantrill, and Mrs. Quantrill accom- 
panied him on the second. The following notes were made by Scott in 
reference to his first trip: 

Found grave of W. C. Quantrill on this visit, and the entry of death 
in the Portland Cemetery (Catholic) Louisville, Ky. Talked with Mr. 
Scally, the sexton, and Bridget Scally his wife. Both were there when 
Quantrill was buried; with 10 steps of the Cemetery lodge, where they 
lived. Rev. Powers ordered that no mound be raised over the grave, but 
that the ground be kept level, and that they should throw their dish-water 
and other slops over the spot, so as to obliterate it as much as possible to 
keep the body from being stolen. Quantrill had given Powers $800 in 
gold and directed his burial. Memo, of W. W. Scott, no date, now in the 
Collection of the author. 

Scott left a full account of his doings at Louisville on his second trip, 
and it is here set out: 

On Wednesday Dec. 7, 1887, I visited the St. Johns Catholic Cemetery 
(formerly called Portland), Louisville, Ky., and called on Mrs. Bridget 
Scally, the widow in charge. I had called on herself and husband in the 
spring of 1884, when I was trying to find out what had become of the 
body of Wm. Clark Quantrill (the guerrilla), who died in Louisville, June 
6, '65. Her husband was then confined to his bed, but both told me that 
they were present when the body was buried; had been in charge of the 
cemetery all the time, and Mrs. Scally pointed out to me the spot; although 
there were no signs of a grave. 

At this second call I found the husband had died, but Mrs. Scally 
was still in charge. I told her that now I had Mrs. Quantrill with me in 
the city, that she was anxious to see the grave and to talk with her about 
her son; and that if she could not remove the bones and place them in the 
family cemetery in Ohio, she would like to have them taken up and 
placed in a zinc lined box. 

I took Mrs. Q. out from the hotel, and herself and Mrs. Scally talked 
matters over, and Mrs. Scally agreed that the grave might be opened so 
Mrs. Q. could see condition of affairs. Next day, Thursday, Dec. 8, 1887, 

~ ^_ ^_ > I went out after dinner and had 

&gr^-^i'ii-,n"irmr n ' "*" I grave opened. It was a cloudy, 

drizzly day and uncomfortable, and 
Louis Wertz, the employe, did not 
like to do the work, but I gave 
Mrs. Scally $2.50 for the privilege, 
and Wertz a dollar extra. It was 
3 p. m. Mrs. Scally pointed out 
the place, and by spading around 
a little, the outlines were soon 
found, and the bones were reached 
in an hour. They lay in natural 

Bone* of Quantrill's Right Arm now in Collection 
of author 

position, except top of skull was 
uppermost, instead of lying on 
back part. Every vestige of coffin had disappeared except a rotten piece 


pursued by her son and came to believe him a hero and patriot. 
She remained with Captain A. D. Pence, sheriff of Nelson 
county, and his wife, all winter. But she made short sojourns 
with other men who had been in her son's command. At first 
the people made quite a great-to-do over her, but in a few 
weeks their enthusiasm cooled. She settled down to the role 
of a heroine and expected due reverence, and the people had to 
show that they hoped she would soon move on. She wrote to 
Scott that Captain Pence seemed to have lost interest in her 
business and that the ladies would soon want to clean house, 
and urging him to take her to Missouri, where she hoped for 
a more lasting welcome. 20 She visited the Wakefield farm where 

size of a man's hand. His hair had slipped off in a half circle around the 
skull, and was of a bleached yellow color. A small part of a Government 
army sock was about the foot bones; and some shirt-buttons were found. 
A part of the backbone and ribs were so decayed that they crumbled to 
pieces, but most of the other bones were in a fair state of preservation. 

As Mrs. Quantrill could not come out on account of weather, I had 
the bones put in a small box and put back in the grave, near top, and 
covered over, and by permission of Mrs. Scally took the skull wrapped in 
newspaper with me to hotel to show Mrs. Q. Next morning I showed it to 
Mrs. Q., and she was much affected; and she identified a previously 
described chipped side tooth in lower jaw on right side. She would not 
consent to having skull taken back; as she must have it buried beside his 
father and brothers in Ohio; and that she would manage in some way to 
get the other parts of the body. 

So the skull was carefully wrapped and put in a basket, and left at 

hotel check room, while I went with her to Samuels Depot, a station 

miles south, that she might see Doany Pence, Robert Hall and others of 
her son's band. We left same day (9th Dec.) and arrived at Pence's. 
Mr. and Mrs. Pence pressed her to remain the winter with them; so she 
prevailed on me to go to Louisville and get remainder of bones on pretext 
of having them put in zinc box for re-burial; and that I should take them 
to Ohio and bury them beside her husband; and that she would see Mrs. 
Scally before she came back, and smooth the matter over, and arrange for 
the selling of the cemetery lot. 

I did not approve of the deception, but she said that she could not 
go home without his remains; and that on account of forms and proofs, 
and red tape, she might not be able to get them at all; or at least not 
without much trouble. 

I stopped, secured them and brought them home and placed them 
where agreed upon. Mrs. Q. told me that she called on Mrs. Scally some 
months afterward, and that by putting all the blame for the act on me, she 
finally reconciled her; and that she admitted that it was perhaps the best 
way to accomplish it, and with the least notoriety, and that the ends 
probably justified the means; but that the secrecy should be maintained 
for the good of all concerned. Mrs. Q. afterwards had the lot sold and 
received the money. Statement of W. W. Scott, now in the Collection 
of the author. 

20 Her letters written during her visit to Kentucky and Missouri are 


Quantrill was mortally wounded and talked with the people there 
who knew him in his last days of crime. 

Scott consented to take Mrs. Quantrill to Missouri. On 
May 7, 1888, she went from Samuels 's Depot to Louisville to 
meet Scott, and on the 8th they left Louisville together for Jack- 
son county, Mo., arriving at Independence on the 10th. There 
she was well received. The old guerrillas entertained her in 
their homes and furnished her with money. She made ineffect- 
ual efforts to secure some money from a Mrs. Cooper, of Lee's 
Summit, alleging that Quantrill had left it with her. Mrs. 
Cooper denounced her as a fraud and paid over no money. Mrs. 
Quantrill remained in Jackson county more than a year and 
became so imbued with the greatness of her son William that she 
regarded her former friends as enemies and people of no conse- 
quence. Scott, her ever true friend, said she became a "hell- 
cat" in Missouri. Her letters abuse him soundly and accuse him 
of the effort to connect himself with her and her son for the pur- 
pose of making money. She denounces all "Northern people" 
for their crimes against the South. 21 

in the Collection of the author. They reveal the peculiarities and treachery 
of her nature. She harbored a bitter hatred for her grand-daughters, the 
daughters of her son Franklin. She accuses them in these letters of 
spying upon her actions to the extent of feloniously securing and opening 
her letters. 

21 Extracts from some of the letters of Mrs. Quantrill are given here. 
They were all written to W. W. Scott, Canal Dover, from Independence, 
Mo., or vicinity: 

Independence Mo. May 20th 188. 

. . . No doubt yo thought because they were my Sons friends, they 
were of no account. But you are much mistaken if you think so for they 
are much respected here. I have met many friends here, more than I ever 
expected, in fact every one here is a friend of my Dear lost son. Now I 
dont care what the foalks think or say of me or my lost Son, I know how 
he stands here with the very best. ... By the way, I saw the Lady who 
sent me the letter when at blue springs, she called on me before I had time 
to find her. She saw in the papers that I was in town. I spent one day 
with her She told me of the bad treatment she received at the hands of 
the Kansas Fiends she was burned out three times & her life in danger 
every day. I had no idea they did treat Women as they did. it was 
perfectly dreadful, & yet to hear the Union men tell they never did any 
thing bad. Oh, no, it was all the South, they were driven to do what 
they did. Who would not protect their homes and friends They may say 
what they please out there about my son. he never did as bad as some 
of Kansas men did, he alwais respected Woman wherever he met them. 


But Mrs. Quantrill finally wore out her welcome in Missouri. 
Her former enthusiastic friends tired of her presence and came 
to regard her as a mild sort of nuisance, and, later, a real active 
nuisance. She was compelled to turn again to Scott and return 
to Canal Dover. No Missouri or Kentucky people ever wrote 

Blue Springs 1888 July 1st 

. . . You say some one has written a long letter to a St. Louis 
newspaper about me & my Son & you, saying I am not the mother of Wm 
Quantrill . . . The man who wrote that is no friend nothing but a low- 
lifed Black Republican I have no more respect for that class of people, 
they are the lowest of Gods Creation 

Independence Mo Oct 17th 1888. 

. . . You say there are some foalks there who dont like me, would 
like to have hard things said of me, for what reason I cannot tell. I 
know there is a dreadful Low class of people there who delight in slandering 
& telling Lies, I think if God ever makes another Hell He aught to make it 
there, Sink it in the bottomless Pit & put all the Liars in it. It would 
not be any too large for all Dover liars. 

Independence Mo Feb 24th 1889 

. . . Now I will tell you something of your Self The foalks in 
These parts did not have any confidence in you from the fact of your 
being a Yankey Man They could not depend on your word They didn't 
know but you were a Son of Some Old Yankey hunting up something 
to make money out off. ... It was you I had reference to as a Pro- 
fessed friend who was not true. ... I cannot understand what you mean 
By saying you were such a great friend to me in my dark days when I 
nieded one, and always took my part and defended me. I dont know of 
any very dark days I ever had. ... You are the chief one who has been, 
and is yet agitateing The whole buisness. You may as well give up writing 
History of my Dear lost Boy, for You never will get any Thing correct, 
no one but His Men & friends and Myself could get up a coreect History 
of him. His Men never will Enlighten The Yankey s on The Subject. So 
what They gather up will be mostly Lies. 

Much more could be quoted showing the disposition of Mrs. Quantrill 
towards Scott. Her particular grievance in these letters was the action 
of Scott in furnishing Eliza Archard material for an article on Quantrill 
and his raid on Lawrence. That he gave her the photographs of the 
Quantrill family was particularly aggravating, and Mrs. Quantrill always 
refers to Mrs. Archard as "that Low-Lifed woman" and "that nasty 
low-Lifed Woman." The Archard article was written for the American 
Press Association and published broadcast August 26, 1888. Scott really 
did Mrs. Quantrill a favor in that matter, and his letter on the subject 
reveals that he was in fact the partisan of Quantrill and intended to 
write an account which would conceal as much of the bad as possible. 
He induced the lady to leave out of her article everything which would 
be disagreeable to Mrs. Quantrill. In his letter to her, dated Jan. 29, 1889, 
he says: 

I told you that there was a woman here to make inquiry about your 
family; and that she had seen some people who were not friendly to you; 


to her. At Canal Dover she soon met with an accident and suf- 
fered a fractured arm and shoulder, becoming an object of char- 
ity. Scott, good man and good friend that he was, circulated a 
subscription paper and secured $120 for her. 23 

In March, 1898, through the efforts of Scott, the Confed- 
erate Veteran Association of Kentucky appropriated funds for 

and had written up a lot of stuff they had told her. I told her that 
if she would not publish that stuff, I would let her have a copy of your 
picture and Mr. Quantrill's. She agreed, and that is the way she got the 
pictures; and she did not publish the stuff they had told her. 

In the previous September Scott had written her about this article, 
saying : 

There was a woman here two or three months ago hunting up some- 
thing, and some one took her around to different places. Some folks who 
didn't like you, told her some ugly things. I saw her afterwards and she 
said if I would let her have your picture and Mr. Quantrill's, she would 
leave those things out of her article. I did so, and she left them out. 
There are people here yet who would like to see all the bad published that 
they could. You know very well that I have always tried to show up for 
the good side of his [W. C. Quantrill's] life, and make things as smooth 
for you as I could. 

This letter is valuable as showing that Scott was intending to write 
as favorably of Quantrill as he possibly could. 

The "dark days" letter to which Mrs. Quantrill referred was dated 
Feb. 6, 1889, and the following extract is taken from it: 

Mrs. Quantrill, I dont see why you have written me one or two such 
letters as you have since I left you. I had been your friend in many dark 
days when you needed one; and I always took your part and defended 
you. After I came home, you wrote me a very unkind letter, accusing me 
of having photographed the men at Blue Springs, and sending the photo- 
graphs to the Police Gazette to be ridiculed. I wrote you back at once 
that I had not one of their photographs! had not taken any, and had never 
written a line to the Police Gazette or any other paper; and to prove it 
all, I got a copy of the Police Gazette and sent it to you. I thought that 
would convince you that you was mistaken, but you never answered the 

When that woman came here to write a piece about your son, she 
went to several parties and got all the news she could. Finally she came 
to me, and I found that somebody had told her things that would make you 
feel bad to see in print; told to her likely by some enemy of yours. I 
made a special request of her to leave those things out; and I told her as 
good and as straight a narrative as I could. 

Notwithstanding her course toward him, Scott continued to be her 
staunch friend to the end of his life. He got her into "Homes" and 
''Hospitals" and furnished her clothing. She was not backward in ask- 
ing that he provide for her, as her letters show. 

22 This paper with the names of the subscribers and the amount each 
paid is in the Collection of the author. 


the maintenance of Mrs. Quantrill in the ' ' Home for the Friend- 
less" in Lexington, Kentucky. 2 ^ 

Mrs. Quantrill remained in the "Home" some months, when 
she became dissatisfied and returned to Canal Dover. She was 
very quarrelsome and disagreeable as her years increased. "When 
she returned from Lexington she was placed in the Tuscarawas 
County Infirmary (Poorhouse) and became a public charge. 
Her husband had been a member of the order of Odd Fellows 
in Canal Dover. This fact, long forgotten, was established by 
Scott. He secured her admission to the Odd Fellows Home at 
Springfield, Ohio. Her letters from that institution to Scott, 
almost illegible, are full of gratitude. She sometimes wrote him 
for money, the receipt of which from him she acknowledges. 
She depended upon him for a part of her clothing, which he 
furnished. She died at the Odd Fellows Home, Springfield, in 
the year 1903. 

The Quantrills exhibit the usual characteristics of a family 
deficient in sound moral fiber developing in a community where 
there is little restraint of personal inclinations and where con- 
demnation by public conscience is fitful and feeble. Under such 
circumstances society is prone to leniency and forgiveness. There 
were, perhaps, patriotism and manliness of character in Captain 
Thomas Quantrill, though he became a professional gambler. His 
son, Thomas Henry Quantrill, loved and labored to support his 
wife and children, though none too scrupulous as to where he 
obtained the money for his enterprises. His last years show no 
false steps. He should not be held to account for the actions of 
his brothers. But the loose threads and slack twist of his 
moral man begot in his son the seed-ground for tares which 

23 It has always appeared in the newspapers that she was in a Con- 
federate Home in Kentucky, but the correspondence leading to her going to 
Lexington is in the Collection of the author, and it clearly shows that she 
was placed in the Home for the Friendless. She made various statements 
as to why she did not remain there, one being that her "benefactor" had 
lost his fortune and could no longer maintain her in the Home. This 
"Home" seems to have been called "St. Joseph's Hospital." In the 
Morning Herald, Lexington, Ky., March 27, 1898, is the following: 

The bringing of Mrs. Caroline Clark Quantrill to St. Joseph's Hos- 
pital in this city last week," etc., etc. The clipping from the Herald is 
in the Collection of the author. 


kindled a conflagration on the border and drenched a land in 
blood. The broadest possible mantle of charity should enfold the 
memory of Mrs. Caroline Clarke Quantrill. She comes upon the 
stage a mother true to her offspring with a love for him that 
was stronger than death. She seeks to shield and defend a child. 
This quality, instinct, in the mother is the hope of civilization. 
But the union of this couple produced him that shed blood like 
water, a fiend wasteful and reckless of human life. They endowed 
him with depravity, bestowed upon him the portion of degen- 
eracy. In cruelty and a thirst for blood he towered above the 
men of his time. Somewhere of old his ancestors ate the sour 
grapes which set his teeth on edge. In him was exemplified the 
terrible and immutable law of heredity. He grew into the gory 
monster whose baleful shadow falls upon all who share the kin- 
dred blood. He made his name a Cain's mark and a curse to 
those condemned to bear it. The blight of it must fall upon 
remote generations, those yet unborn and innocent, so inex- 
orable are the decrees of fate and nature. Because of him wid- 
ows wailed, orphans cried, maidens wept, as they lifted the life- 
less forms of loved ones from bloody fields and bore them reeking 
to untimely graves. 



WILLIAM Clarke Quantrill was born at Canal Dover, 
Ohio, July 31, 1837.' Of his childhood very little- 
is known. But something of his school-boy life has 
come down to us. He had few friends, for there was little in com- 
mon between him and other boys of his age. He was solitary, 
wandering in the woods with firearms when quite young. There 
he shot small game and maimed domestic animals for amuse- 
ment. 3 He would often nail a snake to a tree and let it remain 
there in torture until it died. He carried small snakes in his 
pockets, and these he would throw on his sister and other girls 
at school and laugh heartily at their terror. He would stick a 
knife into a cow by the roadside, or stab a horse. He often tor- 
tured dogs and cats to enjoy their cries of distress. Pain in 
any other person or in any animal gave him pleasure, delight.s 
He was an expert in the use of the rifle and could throw stones 

1 It is believed necessary to make this fact prominent, and it is re- 
peated here. 

2 There was nothing about him to indicate his subsequent career, ex- 
cept that he would occasionally shoot a pig through the tip of the ear to 
make it run and squeal, and then would laugh immoderately at its antics. 
Such things in illiterate persons might be attributed to thoughtlessness; 
but in a young man of his intelligence it looked like a vein of cruelty. 
In no other way did he ever exhibit an evil disposition. He was strictly 
temperate and honest. W. W. Scott, in Joplin, Mo., Morning Herald, 
April 89, 1881. Clipping in the Collection of the author. 

Mr. Scott was the friend of Quantrill and his family, and it was his 
avowed intention to rescue his name from infamy. Attention is called to 
many of the expressions of Mr. Scott quoted in this work. They establish 
this friendship and this intention. Many other forms of cruelty practiced 
by Quantrill in his boyhood are known, and they indicate a depraved 

3 This information was secured from a number of persons who knew 
Quantrill as a school-bey, among them, members of the Beeson family. 
There is some evidence that Franklin Quantrill did the same things, chasing 
cows on his crutches to stab them. 


with much force and velocity and with unerring accuracy. He 
was not of a contentious turn and seldom quarreled. Conscious- 
ness of some guilt seemed ever present with him, causing a sort 
of hang-dog expression of countenance and an inclination to 
avoid a conflict, but when forced to battle he fought desperately 
with any thing he could lay hands upon. 

Quantrill was a strong boy, but never robust. He suffered 
from a throat trouble which was expected to develop consump- 
tion, a family malady of which his father died. He suffered a 
rupture when very young, but this never became a serious mat- 
ter with him. His face was round and full, with piercing blue- 
grey eyes of a strange tint, the upper lids of which fell too low, 
imparting a peculiar expression which became very marked when 
he was in a rage. His forehead was high, his hair almost white 
(of the "tow-head" variety), and his nose was curved and sin- 
ister. His appearance as a whole indicated strong individuality. 
With some people he was in great good repute, while others 
despised him from first sight without being able to explain why. 
He was the favorite of his mother, no other child ever finding 
the place in her heart which she gave her first-born. She was 
his champion when he was confronted with the consequences of 
his evil-doing, always bringing him off without punishment if 
possible. There was no love between Quantrill and his father. 

As an instance of the depravity of Quantrill even as a boy, 
the following circumstance is related. In Canal Dover the 
Catholic church stood apart from the village, and the public road 
ran by its door. The pasture for town-cows lay beyond, and 
Quantrill drove the family-cow to and from it. Once the priest 
was called away upon emergency and left the housekeeper, a 
girl in her teens, alone. She went up into the belfry to ring 
the evening chimes. This belfry was ascended by steep and 
winding stairs. It was entered through a door with a heavy 
shutter which was secured by an enormous lock turned with a 
ponderous iron key. Passing with the cow, Quantrill saw the 
belfry door standing open, and, hearing the clanging of the bell, 
he knew the girl was aloft there and alone. He quietly closed 
and locked the door, and, taking the key, he went on and threw 
it into the deep water of Sugar creek. The girl was kept a pris- 


oner in the belfry nearly twenty-four hours without food or 
water. When released she was prostrated from fright and want, 
and so indignant were the members of the church that they 
offered a reward of one hundred dollars for the apprehension 
of the criminal.* 

In school Quantrill was a bright pupil. But he gave the 
teacher much trouble, especially his father when the latter was 
principal of the Union School. He had to be punished often. 
One day his father took him out and whipped him soundly. A 
young lady s saw him return to the room, pale, tearless, trem- 
bling, and with the look of a demon. There was murder in every 
gleam of his strange glittering eyes. 

At the age of sixteen Quantrill was employed as a teacher 
in the Union School at Canal Dover. Why he was not retained 
in that position is not known. It would seem that if he had 
given satisfaction or had been regarded as a person suitable for 
the place he should have been allowed to remain after his father's 
death, his mother being a widow with a large family to support. 
But the winter of his father's death (1854-55) he taught a coun- 
try school in Tuscarawas county, not far from Canal Dover. 

From the age of eighteen years there is some record of Quan- 
trill and his actions. In 1855 he first ventured into the world 
to try his powers and seek his fortune. The Clapp family, an 
old and respected one at Canal Dover, moved to La Salle county, 
Illinois. Miss Mary Clapp was a teacher in the Canal Dover 

4 Quantrill did not admit this crime until after he came to Kansas. 
There, when the Beeson and Torrey children met to play, they talked of the 
old home at Canal Dover, often expressing a strong desire to return and 
sometimes weeping because they could not go. One Sunday afternoon 
these young people were strolling along the banks of the Marais des Cygnes, 
one of the young ladies in tears from memories of the old Ohio home. 
Quantrill was one of the party and asked her why she did not return. She 
said she had no money and that she could not return since her family then 
lived in Kansas. "I can tell you how to get the money," he said. "I 
locked the Catholic belfry, and if you will inform the church you can get 
the one hundred dollars reward offered for the person who did it. I locked 
the door and threw the key into deep water in Sugar Creek. ' ' He laughed 
immoderately at the thought of his heartless act and seemed to think it a 
fine joke. 

s Now Mrs. Frances Beeson Thompson, of Topeka. 


Union School. 6 In the summer of 1855 she went to Mendota, 
Illinois, and Mrs. Quantrill prevailed upon her to allow her son 
William to go along. Some account of the journey and of Quan- 
trill 's impression of that country, as well as of his employment 
there, can be found in the following letter written by him to 
his mother. 7 

Wednesday August 8 th 1855 
Mendota La Salle Co 

Dear Mother. 

I arrived here about half past two o.clock this afternoon safe 
& sound. My box is not here but I expect it tomorrow. We 
traveled day & night ever since we started not having stopped 
half an hour at one place. Tomorrow I am going to hunt some- 
thing to do. We are both well except that Mary was looking 
out of the window of the car while we were going along the shore 
of Lake Michigan when a spark of fire flew in her eye & made 
it a little sore. But that will be well in a day or so. We did not 
have any trouble with our trunks at all. I have $6 of my money 
left & maybe the next time I write I will send a little along. I 
am about 600 miles from home. 

This country is a great deal different from Ohio for miles 
around I can see nothing but tall grass. There is not much 
Fruit here although I have seen ripe peaches at the cars for sale : 
but corn, potatoes, cabbage are plenty. We have stopped at 
Marys Aunts Mrs Cross but I wont stay here but a day or so. 
There are two schools here probably I can get one of them. 
Well I believe that is all this time the next time I will write 

Yours With Respect 

William Quantrill 
P. S. Direct to me Mendota La Salle Co Illinois 

A manly letter, and it arouses sympathy ! Those who have; 
stood alone and friendless for the first time on a strange shore 
will find only indications of honesty of purpose in it. If only 
some good influence could have taken possession of him then 

6 See page 98, Reminiscences of Dover, by William W. Scott, Canal 
Dover, Ohio, 1879. Miss Clapp was a teacher in the winters of 1852-53 
and 1853-54. There it is said: "Miss Clapp married a prominent Illinois 
farmer, and lives at Mendota. ' ' William C. Quantrill was employed in the 
winter of 1853-54, his father dying the following December. 

7 Letter of W. C. Quantrill to his mother, now in the Collection of 
the author. 


and there the latent powers of his character for evil might never 
have developed. If some sympathetic hand had been extended 
from the coldness and strangeness of his new world this boy 
might have anchored at last in a haven of honor and respect! 
But the world is cold, indifferent. A little kindness might often 
change the destiny of a soul! 

On the 18th of September Quantrill wrote a letter to his 
mother in answer to one he had received from her. This letter 
is as follows : 8 

Mendota Sept 18 th 1855 
Dear Mother. 

I received your letter yesterday & was very glad to hear that 
you are well & I am glad to tell you that I am the same. Well 
I guess I will teach school this winter, but I was very sorry to 
hear that you could not .find those Texas papers but I want you 
to look again for them for if you find them I can make some 
money this winter. I wrote you a letter before I received your 
last one I suppose you have got it by this time you must be 
sure to send me those tinners books all of them as soon as you 
can for those six that I brought with me I sold in one town & 
I could of sold more if I had them for $2.00 a piece which just 
paid my board, be sure & send them for I can sell 50 in Chicago 
there are so many tin shops there. If you send them I can send 
you some money in a week I have only $8 dollars now. As soon 
as you send them books in a week I will send you $20 certain, be 
sure to send them by express You had better try to borrow a lit- 
tle money of Dr. Brashear or Dr. Winnul until I can get those 
books, for you know I wont get my pay for teaching only every 
three months. I get $25 a month & boarded. I would like to 
have those texas papers very much. You had better write to 
Grandfather & ask him if he has got them & tell him I can do 
well with them. And I would ask him to help me a little. I 
think I shall write to him for I guess he dont know I am out 
here, well I must bring my letter to a close dont forget those 
books. Send them by express. 

Yours With Respect 

Your Son 
W. Quantrill 

I want you to answer this letter a little sooner if you can 
the man that wants to get that land in texas wants to know 
pretty soon whether I can get the papers or not 

8 Letter of W. C. Quantrill to his mother, now in the Collection of 
the author. 


A number of men from Ohio fought in the Texan patriot 
army for the independence of the Lone Star Republic, and the 
Texas papers he requested may have been a warrant for land 
for military service in the patriot forces. Some of the roving 
brothers of his father may have served in the Texan army. One 
of them, or an uncle, was a pirate on the Texan coast, and he may 
have lived to cast his lot with the Texans. The "tinners books" 
referred to were copies of the work written and published by his 
father. It is very probable that his mother sent him some of 
them, but he did not send her any money. He never sent her 
a penny in the world. This letter indicates that he had gamed 
confidence in himself. 

The next letter written by Quantrill was dated on the 2d of 
October, and was to Edward T. Kellam, Canal Dover, and is as 
follows : 9 


Oct 2 d 1855 
Friend Edward. 

I suppose you think or had begun to, that I had forgotten 
you entirely ; but not so, I have threatened to write to you, sev- 
eral times, but neglected it. Well I will attend to it a little bet- 
ter if you answer this one. 

I live about 80 miles south of Chicago in a little town by the 
name of Mendota. It is scarcely two years old & yet it contains 
nearly 1500 inhabitants The reason of its rapid growth, is, that 
four railroads center here ; it will be a large place in a few years 
if it continues, we have four passenger & eight freight trains 
every day & night, so now you can judge of the business done 
here it goes ahead of Dover, for we have a paper printed 
here. I want you to send me one of the county papers once 
[letter cut away here] our paper. [Letter cut away here] 
this is the country for farming, it beats Ohio all to pieces. A 
man can raise a crop of corn & wheat in one year that will pay 
for the farm & all the expences of fencing & ploughing, that is 
well enough I think ; all the objection I have to it, is, that there is 
not enough of timber which makes wood very .high $5,00 a cord 

This too is the country for hunting & it pays well. Here 
a man that understands the business can shoot from 50 to 60 
prairie chickens every day & get $1.50 per dozen [for] all he 

9 Letter of W., C. Quantrill to Edward T. Kellam, now in the Collec- 
tion of the author. 


can shoot. There is a place 16 miles from here called inlet pond, 
where there are thousands of ducks and geese. I was up last 
Saturday & I killed 2 geese and 11 ducks, but the fellow that was 
with me killed 9 geese and 32 ducks, we got 50 cts apiece for 
the geese & 25 cts for the ducks, if you was here we would go 
every day. You had better come out here & buy a farm you 
cant do better I know. I guess I must bring my letter to a close, 
when you write tell me the news & the fun. Give my respects 
to all the boys and girls 

[Signature cut away] 
when you write address me. 


La Salle Co 


The signature of this letter has been cut off, probably by "W. 
W. Scott to send to some newspaper. This letter makes no men- 
tion of his school, but it tells us that he had turned pot-hunter. 

On the 17th of November Quantrill again wrote to his 
mother, as follows : I0 

Nov 17 1855 
My Dear Mother. 

I would have written to you before this but I did not get 
that box you sent me untill a few days ago. I thought I would 
not write to you untill I got it for then you would have thought 
it was lost, but I have got it, and every thing was safe. The 
boots came a little too late for I had bought me a pair about two 
or three weeks before. I will not need them this winter but I 
will keep them in my trunk so that they will be safe. I have not 
had any time yet to get off to sell some books but next [week] I 
will have a little time & I think the next time I write you may 
expect some money by express as that is the only safe way to 
send it. 

Well I must tell you one thing & that is that I am tired 
of the west already, and I do not think I shall stay in it very 
much longer than I can help; I must stay as long as my school 
lasts & that is all. You may expect me home early in the spring, 
for I was a dunce to go away for I could have done just as well 
at home as out here & then I would have been at home. I have 
learned one good lesson that I would never have learned at home 
& when I get there again (which will not be long) I will turn 
over a new leaf entirely You said the children had the ague; 
you must try and cure them if possible & this is the last winter 

10 Letter of W. C. Quantrill to his mother, now in the Collection of 
the author. 


you will ever have to keep boarders if I keep my health. I feel 
that I have done wrong in going from home & hope you will for- 
give me for it. I must bring my letter to a close. 

Yours with respect 
Your son 

William C. Quantrill 

He had received the books but had sold none, he said. She 
sent him a pair of boots, though her children were sick and she 
was keeping boarders for bread! What will a mother not do! 
In this letter a change in Quantrill is quite evident. He made 
but indirect reference to teaching, and it is possible that he did 
not teach at all. W. W. Scott says Quantrill worked in a lumber 
yard; also, that he unloaded lumber from cars at Mendota and 
taught in the Mendota schools later, which he may have done. 11 
There is evidence in the letter that he was sliding rapidly down 
the moral scale, and he wrote a promise to reform. He made a 
number of such promises to his mother, none of which he ever 

At Mendota there came a crisis in the life of Quantrill. 
His mother did not hear from him after the 17th of November. 
1855, until in February, 1856, his letter bearing date of the 21st 
of that month. It was written from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and 
is as follows: l2 

Ft Wane, February 21 st 1856 
My Dear Mother 

I suppose you thought I was dead but not so, for I had and 
still continue to have, better health than I ever had at home. I 
suppose that you think that something has happened to me, and 
you think right ; for if it had not been so you would have heard 
from me before this. I think I will not tell you in this letter what 
it was as this is the first one I have wrote you since it happened. 
The last letter I wrote you was then. You will not think so hard 
of me when you know all. I hope you will forgive me then for 
not writing. 

I am now in Indiana near Fort Wayne teaching a school, and 
a very good one I have. I have from 35 to 40 schollars every 

I 1 Statement of W. W. Scott, in the Collection of the author. See, 
also, letter from Columbus, Ohio, to the Cincinnati Times-Star, by F. B. 
Glessner, in 1886, exact date not on clipping in the Collection of the author. 

"Letter of W. C. Quantrill to his mother, now in the Collection of 
the author. 


day. I have got in a good neighborhood, and they say I am the 
best teacher they ever had. I get 20 dollars a month and boarded. 
I took up school for three months and my time is half out now. 

Well mother I have concluded to come home in the spring 
when school is out if you are willing, not that I have not fared 
so well since I left, because I have good clothes, and I have not 
had to miss one meals victuals. But this is the reason why I 
think of coming home, it is because I can make just as much 
money there as any place else, and save a great deal more, and 
also I think I done wrong in going from home and leaving you 
by yourself, and let you earn your own living I have earned 
enough if I had been at home to keep us all comfortably So in 
the spring I will come home not to seek an asylum, but rather 
to make one. I suppose if Grandfather is there he has scolded 
me completely but when he knows all he will think different. 

One thing I will tell you this trip I have had has done me 
more good and I have learned more than I would in three years 
steady schooling. What I have learned will be of more benefit 
to me than any thing I now know of I would be willing to stay 
away another year, if it was not for you and the children, if I 
thought I could be benefitted as much as I have been the few 
months I have been gone. I have been studying book keeping 
this winter and I think I will try that in the spring if I am 
spared that long. I think I can make more money at it, and it 
will be better for my health. 

I have found a great many people that I am acquainted with, 
for instance two of Sam Fertig's sisters live in the district I am 
teaching in. and George Scott lives about 20 miles from here. 
I saw him once in town he is a different boy from what he was 
in Dover, he has been making one dollar a day and boarded 
all winter and that he never done at home and never would in 
Dover if he had lived there ever so long, when my school is 
out I am going to see them. 

It has been very cold here, two weeks ago the snow in the 
woods is about 30 inches deep and it bids fair to be still deeper. 
Two weeks ago last Tuesday the thermometer stood at 30 degrees 
below zero at day break and at noon was 19 degrees below, both 
Tuesday and Wednesday it was the same and for five days it 
did not go above zero. I suppose it has not been so cold there. 
There was one man here had 160 head of sheep froze in one 
night and most every body had their pigs and calves froze, and 
people have had their toes froze so bad that they think they will 
drop off. among the rest I had my toes and ears froze but not 
very bad. Every body here most has got the ague, and a great 
many have died with the typhoid fever. This country is a low 


flat swampy unhealthy place, and covered with very heavy tim- 
ber, more than in Ohio. Almost every body lives in log houses 
and to take it all around I would not advise any one to buy a 
farm in the state, for really I would hardly live here one year 
for a good farm, almost every body here wants to sell out and 
leave the country. 

I would just as soon be at home as any place else for a 
while. I suppose the furnace has been going all winter and 
Dover is a little more lively than it was. I suppose some of the 
boys have got situations in it by this time. Well mother I am 
tedious I suppose with such a long letter. Give my respects to 
all my friends & especially the boys & tell them I will write 
soon. Tell them I am well and doing well. The next time I 
will tell you all about what has happened. But I want you to 
never tell any body else whoever it may be for my sake. When 
you answer this direct to Fort Wayne Indiana. 

I still remain yours Respectfully 
Your Son 
William Quantrill 
Mrs. Caroline C. Quantrill 

There is no certain knowledge of what "happened" to 
Quantrill at Mendota. W. W. Scott probably knew but con- 
cealed it. '3 He left a memorandum written on the fragment of 
a letter-head of S. S. Scott, manufacturer of the Scott Fountain 
Pen, Chicago. It is the only written evidence of what occurred 
at Mendota and is as follows : 

Did you ever know that Quantrill kept books for a lumber 
firm in Ottawa or Mendota 111 & that while there he shot & 
killed a man whom he said knocked him down with the intention 
of robbing him. 

There is nothing whatever to show who wrote this. A rumor 
that Quantrill had killed a man at Mendota reached Canal Dover 
in the winter of 1855-56. Quantrill seemingly referred to that 
rumor when he said he supposed that his grandfather had scolded 

13 That Scott intended to hide the bad in the life of Quantrill up to 
the time he came to Kansas, and to put as good a face as possible on his 
actions in Kansas and Missouri is evidenced by memoranda left by him 
and which is in the Collection of the author. In all the writings of Scott 
he shields Quantrill and refuses to believe that he was bad. When forced 
to admit that he was bad, the treatment he received in Kansas made him 
bad. Much to that effect is in the Collection of the author. 


him completely. Rumor made two versions of the affair. One 
was to the effect that Quantrill was sleeping in the office of the 
lumber yard when attacked and that he shot his assailant dead. 
Another version was, that this killing was in the day time and 
that Quantrill was found behind a pile of lumber standing over 
a dead man with a smoking pistol in his hand. The man was a 
stranger. There was no witness, and Quantrill said the man had 
attempted to rob him. The authorities held Quantrill some time, 
but as nothing could be found to contradict him, and he being 
but a boy in appearance, he was allowed to go free. There is 
nothing positive to be had on the subject, however. 1 * 

Whatever this crime (it could have been nothing less, from 
QuantriU's letter and action), Quantrill was a changed man 
afterwards. While still hoping that he might be forgiven at 
home, he desired that nothing be said about the matter. His 
letter speaking of the occurrence was in a bold and confident 
tone, indicating that he was getting used to the world and stood 
in little fear of it. 

The next letter from Quantrill was dated at Fort Wayne. 
But a fragment of it has been preserved. He evidently changed 
his mind about returning home in the spring, for the letter was 
written in July. 1 * 

Fort Wayne July 14/56 
Dear Mother. 

Well mother I am going to write one more letter to you & 
it is the last one untill I receive an answer this is the fourth one 
without an answer yet & the last one. 

I am & have been well since I left home with the exceptions 
of a few shakes of the ague 3 I think I am going to school in 
this city. I study Chemistry, Physiology Latin & Plane Trig- 
onometry school will be out in 3 weeks I am again going to 
work again probably in this place but I will teach again in the 
winter . 

14 Mrs. Frances Beeson Thompson, now of Topeka, was living then 
at Canal Dover, and she remembers these rumors. W. W. Scott told F. B. 
Glessner that "It is said that he [Quantrill] left his school at Mendota 
in the middle of the term owing to some trouble or scandal." See a 
previous note for mention of Glessner and his article in the Cincinnati 

15 Letter from W. C. Quantrill to his mother, now in the Collection 
of the author. 


He had made up his mind to remain at Fort Wayne over 
another winter, but it is quite probable that he returned home 
shortly after the above letter was written. The tendency to 
sudden and unexpected actions seemed to be taking a hold on 
him, and this became characteristic of him in later life. The 
following winter he taught school in the country, near his native 
town. 16 

Mrs. Frances Beeson Thompson believes this last school was 
in a district near Urichsville. He left Ohio without paying his 
board-bill in the district. Quantrill left his native land never to 
return. The inexorable tide of events swept him westward to a 
destiny dark, infamous. 17 

1 6 W. C. Quantrill taught Dover Union School winter of 1853-54 
when 16 yrs. old. He afterwards taught in the Geo. Riker district below 
N. Philadelphia, and also in the Blicktown Dist. below Dover. Memo of 
W. W. Scott, no date, now in the Collection of the author. 

Quantrill taught two terms of school in country districts in Tus- 
carawas county, Ohio (his native county), but in which of the two dis- 
tricts mentioned by Scott he taught his last term is not known; it was 
taught in the winter of 1856-57, and was perhaps not completed, for he 
left Ohio for Kansas early in March of 1857. 

1 7 In Kansas H. V. Beeson received a letter from a party to whom 
the board-bill was due, saying that it was unpaid and making inquiry as 
to the possibility of collecting it from Quantrill in Kansas. It was in 
telling the author of this circumstance that Mrs. Frances Beeson Thomp- 
son said she believed the school was taught near Urichsville, it being her 
best recollection that the letter came from some one living near that 



HARMON V. BEESON and Colonel Henry Torrey had 
lived at Canal Dover, Ohio, several years prior to the 
year 1857. They found themselves with growing fam- 
ilies and in debt. New countries have ever held hope for men 
in such condition. The total indebtedness of Beeson was five 
hundred dollars, which sum he owed to Jesse Deardorf . He had 
considerable property and could have paid the debt, but know- 
ing that it would require money to begin life in a new country, 
he arranged with Deardorf to have his indebtedness stand over 
until he could get on his feet in Kansas. Beeson was able to 
make such terms because it was known that he was a good busi- 
ness man and thoroughly honest. 1 

i Harmon Vedder Beeson was born in Schenectady county, New York, 
January 15, 1809; died at Paola, Kansas, May 28, 1886. He wag a Civil 
Engineer and went to Canal Dover, Ohio, to work in that capacity on the 
Ohio Canal about the year 1827, exact date unknown. He married at 
Canal Dover, about 1830, Eachel C. Eutt (pronounced Eoof), who was born 
at Hagerstown, Maryland, June 16, 1812. They had the following chil- 

Catherine, born March 23, 1833. Married Isaac N. Sparks. 

Frances, born October 27, 1836. Married George Thompson; lives 
in Topeka. 

Phoebe, born February 1, 1838. Married G. A. Colton. 

Eichard, born about 1840. Was in the First Kansas Eegiment, Civil 
War; died at Vicksburg, Miss., unmarried. Died during siege of Vicks- 

John S., born about 1844; was in a Kansas regiment in Civil War; 
married, first, Dorinda Parrott ; second, 

Jesse, born about 1846; was in a Kansas regiment in the Civil War; 
married, first, Clara Eischey ; second, 

Charity, born the day President Zachary Taylor died, July 9, 1850; 
married William Freeman. 

Upon the completion of the Ohio Canal, Beeson was appointed col- 


Colonel Torrey could not make satisfactory terms with his 
creditors. He was an honest man, but he was much involved. 
When he learned that Beeson was going to Kansas he wished to 
go with him, and the two men formed a sort of partnership, 
Torrey saying that he could secure some money from relatives 
of his wife at "White Plains, New York. The two men agreed to 
meet in Terre Haute, Indiana, but later this point was changed to 
St. Louis, Mo. 

Beeson and Torrey did not bring their families to Kansas 
with them. Richard Beeson accompanied his father. This 
caused W. C. Quantrill to wish to be one of the party, young 
Beeson being a friend of his. Mrs. Quantrill was anxious to 
have him go, hoping that he might secure a farm upon which 
could be made a home for herself and children, and she urged 
Mr. Beeson to take him along. Beeson consulted Colonel Tor- 
rey as to what should be done. It was the wish of both to do 
any thing possible to aid Mrs. Quantrill, and while neither had 
any confidence in her son, it was decided to take him to Kansas 
and try to induce him to abandon his roving, idle habits and 
settle himself to some steady occupation. It was agreed that 
Beeson should pay his way to the point where Colonel Torrey 
was to meet him, and that Colonel Torrey should pay it from 
there to Kansas. This fare was to be an advance to Quantrill, 
which was to be deducted from his wages, for it was agreed that 
they would give him employment for some months after their 
arrival, should he desire them to do so. And this sum was in 
that way returned to Beeson and Torrey by Quantrill. 3 

lector of customs for the State at Canal Dover and constructed a large 
warehouse. Later he was employed as teacher in the city schools of the 
town. He accumulated property and became one of the principal citizens 
of the place. He was attracted to Kansas by the controversy over slav- 
ery, and believing it a country of fine resources he moved there hoping to 
better his condition, settling in Franklin county, March 22, 1857. He was 
county surveyor of Franklin county and a member of the legislature. In 
the fall of 1863 he moved to Paola, Kansas, where he engaged in the 
grocery business, and where he lived until his death, a substantial and much 
respected citizen. At the time of his death he was the oldest Freemason 
in the State. 

a This is what Beeson and his family have always said of this matter. 
See quotation from letter of Beeson in Note 1, Chapter IV. In his letter 


Mr. Beeson, his son Richard, and Quantrill set out for Kan- 
sas. They went to the Ohio river and took boat for St. Louis, 
Mo. There they waited two days for Colonel Torrey to arrive, 
a circumstance which shows that the contention of Mrs. Torrey- 
Wagstaff that Colonel Torrey met Beeson and Quantrill in St. 

to his mother Quantrill says he had enough money to carry him through. 
He may have referred to his personal expenses and not to fare on boats 
or railroads. In a letter to Captain W. O. Hubble, dated at Paola, Kan- 
sas, January 17, 1884, and published in the Lawrence, Kansas, Herald and 
Tribune, April 15, 1855, Mrs. M. J. Wagstaff (formerly Mrs. Torrey) 
said, "Early in the spring of 1857 Col. H. Yancy [msiprint for Torrey], 
my late husband, left Dover for the City of New York; from there in- 
tending to come direct to Kansas. At St. Louis, on his way to Kansas, 
he met, by accident, H. V. Beeson and W. C. Quantrill, and from that 
point they came to Kansas and located in the spring of 1857, near Stan- 
ton, then in Lykins, now Miami county." 

When Mrs. Frances Beeson Thompson was shown this letter she de- 
clared its statements untrue and that the facts are as set out herein. 

Writing to hia paper, the True Republican and Sentinel, Sycamore, 
His., from Paola, Kansas, August 15, 1863, C. M. Chase said: 

Paola was once the home of the notorious bushwhacker and outlaw, 
Quantrell. Here he once lived in harmony with those he would now plunder 
and murder. Our landlord, Col. Torrey, brought him here from Ohio, 
when but a lad. He raised him, but says he never taught him the art of 

The Torreys were ever the friends and champions of Quantrill after 
he arrived in Kansas, especially Mrs. Torrey, who was the real head of 
the Torrey household. They wined him and dined him while he was in 
the jail at Paola and were always ready with some defense of him during 
all his war exploits. The Torreys were pro-slavery in sentiment and also 
in practice so far as they could be in Kansas. Mrs. Torrey 's sister 
married a Missouri slave-owner who went into the Confederate army and 
was there killed. 

Mrs. Torrey was a Miss Redfield. She was a great horse-woman, and 
would race through Canal Dover on horseback scattering citizens, geese, 
children, and pigs as she went. Colonel Torrey was a widower when he 
married her. Previous to this marriage Miss Eedfield had gone to Cleve- 
land, where, with a note for one thousand dollars, having her mother's 
name to it, she purchased a stock of millinery. She brought this mil- 
linery to Canal Dover and induced H. V. Beeson to let her have the front 
room of his dwelling for a shop. There she opened a millinery shop and 
disposed of her stock. 

Colonel Henry Torrey was a soldier in the Mexican War, and a 
colonel of an Ohio or New York regiment, it is said. He was a mild- 
mannered, easy-going, spiritless, hopeless man who drifted through life. 


Louis by accident, and came on to Kansas with them cannot be 
admitted, and that Colonel Torrey was to meet Beeson at some 
point on the way, as Beeson and his family always claimed. 
Quantrill carried with him some of the tinner-books published 
by his father, intending to sell them in towns where the boats 
might stop. He did not sell them all, having a number on hand 
when he arrived in Kansas. The first letter he wrote to his 
mother after he left home was written on a Missouri river steam- 

Missouri River 

March 8. 1857. 
My Dear Mother. 

I neglected writing to you at St. Louis although we were 
there two days before Mr. Torry came. We are all well as usual 
except Richard who has a little cold. We have been on the river 
since last Wednesday the 4. & we have 296 miles to go yet so 
that we will not be there for about 3 or 4 days yet we have been 
delayed very much on account of the bad state of the river. I 
did not make as much money in St. Louis as I anticipated but 
still I have enough to carry me through. I will write you an- 
other letter at Leavenworth city before we start into the country. 
There are a great many going to Kansas at present and among 
them 220 soldiers to keep peace amongst us. Mr. Torry bought 
a shot gun & two revolvers so that we are pretty well armed. 
We did not buy much provision for we can get it just as cheap 
up the river. The boat we are on is pretty well crowded & we 
have to sleep on the floor. I have not had my clothes off but 
once since I left & that was to put on a clean shirt so that we 
are getting used to it allready Your Son 

W. C. Quantrill 

He was a thoroughly honest, good man, and was always greatly respected 
by the people where he lived. When Mrs. Torrey arrived in Kansas she 
was much disappointed and desired to return to Ohio, but the colonel was 
not able to take her back. She revolted against her life in Kansas on a 
squatter's claim in a log cabin. Colonel Torrey sold his land as soon as 
he could and bought a building in Paola, where he kept a hotel as long 
as he lived. 

Torrey did not return to Canal Dover for his family, but had Beeson 
bring his wife and children out to Kansas when he went to get his own 
family. After the death of Colonel Torrey and her marriage to Judge 
W. R. Wagstaff, Mrs. Torrey became a lawyer and her two daughters 
became lawyers. 

3 Letter of W. C. Quantrill to his mother, now in the Collection of 
the author. 


The intention to go to Leavenworth was abandoned because 
of the long time it had taken the boat to ascend the Missouri 
river. The party left the boat at Independence, Mo.* Quantrill 
wrote to his mother from that place, March 15, 1857, saying that 
they had intended to keep on the river to Leavenworth, but that 
low water had already delayed them nine days.s 

At Independence they purchased two ox-teams and out- 
fitted for the rough life in the new country to which they were 
bound, buying bacon, flour, beans, salt, and other articles. They 
arrived on the Marais des Cygnes, in Franklin county, Kansas, 
near Stanton, which is in Miami (then Lykins) county, on the 
22d day of March, 1857. 

At the time of his arrival in Kansas Quantrill was nearly 
twenty, lacking only about four months of having attained that 
age. He was boyish in appearance and seemed no more than 
sixteen or seventeen. His hair was still very light, almost white, 
not taking on the red tinge until later. He was rather slim and 
spare, though not lean. He was well formed, and when seen at 
a distance too great to distinguish each separate feature he was 
regarded as fine looking. His carriage was good, though men 
have been known to take a deep dislike to him at first sight 
when he was walking about; there was something cat-like and 
treacherous in his very movement. Following is a review of his 
life up to the time he came to Kansas: 

Quantrill was cruel and heartless as a boy. And his in- 
clination was to be idle and worthless. He was considered "pe- 
culiar," to use no harsher term. He was self-contained, self- 
confident. He was of a reflective turn of mind, brooding over 
those things which affected him personally. He came to un- 
natural conclusions from a course of reasoning which others 
could not comprehend. He was obstinate, often defiant. His 
chief characteristic was treachery. Kindness did not appeal to 
him, and he bore malice, cherishing any real or imaginary wrong 

4 Bather, at Wayne City, the name of the Independence landing. 

5 This letter is probably lost. Mention of it is made by W. W. Scott 
in a short sketch he wrote of Quantrill and which is in the Collection of 
the author. Scott quoted from the letter and must have had it before 
him as he wrote. 


and biding his time. There was no forgiveness in his nature; 
any manifestation of gratitude shown by him was but an excep- 
tion dictated usually by policy. He was calculating and far- 
seeing ; he had patience and he did not forget. Mentally he was 
above the average. He reasoned rapidly and rarely changed his 
mind, once he had reached a conclusion. Many of his charac- 
teristics were feminine, and he was secretive by nature. He was 
sensitive, and no compensation could be made him for an offense ; 
he might pretend to be satisfied with apology or reparation, but 
the matter remained with him and rankled in him. He had 
persistency in a marked degree, and he was bold and dogged in 
the execution of any design once formed. He had no moral per- 
ceptions, being in this respect depraved a degenerate. Of 
physical courage he had enough, though as a boy he was counted 
a coward. As a boy, no one could understand him, and to the 
end of his life he was a deepening mystery. He was not a 
favorite in company, being seemingly pre-occupied and given to 
strange remarks. Walking along the bank of the Marais des 
Cygnes one day he observed a large branch growing straight out 
over the road. He was in the company of a young lady and re- 
marked, "I could hang six men on that limb." The conversa- 
tion had not been upon hanging men, and from that day the 
parents of the young lady refused to allow her to be in his com- 
pany. Many of these characteristics were still latent in Quan- 
trill when he arrived in Kansas. Under normal conditions they 
might not have developed fully. In ordinary times he would 
have been a disagreeable neighbor, venting his malice by maiming 
a horse or poisoning cattle. Under what he might have consid- 
ered strong provocation he would have shot his adversary fronu 
ambush or cut him to pieces in the dark. He would have sought 
occasions to have acted apparently on the defensive, when he was 
the real aggressor. 

From the first he was ambitious to acquire property and 
have money. But he was lazy. He abhorred labor. He was in- 
capable of continued exertion in any particular direction. Re- 
straint of any kind he would not stand. When at work for an- 
other he was impatient of ordinary directions. He wished to 
arrive at fortune by some great stroke not well defined in his 


own mind, some good luck, favorable circumstance, intrigue. 
This made him dishonest, and all his life he was a thief. He was 
devoid of natural affection. 6 

6 His admirers always tell of his deep abiding love for his mother. 
He had no such affection. After he left home he never contributed a cent 
to her support, though through theft and robbery he had thousands upon 
thousands of dollars. At his death he left her nothing, but he did leave 
his mistress money with which to start a bagnio in St. Louis, Mo. This 
is established by several witnesses, one of whom is quoted. John Harmon 
was a traveling salesman who lived long in Canal Dover. Scott, in the 
Iron Valley Reporter, cast some reflections on him and his failure in 
business at Wooster, Ohio. In answer to the insinuations of Scott, Har- 
mon wrote him a letter dated, 1237 Dean Street, Brooklyn, N. Y., Decem- 
bre 19, 1900, in which he says: 

After Quantrell was wounded in the skirmish he had with the Federal 
troops down in Kentucky, the Sisters took him in and sent for a Catholic 
Priest, to whom he gave the sum of two thousand dollars, being about 
half the money he had with him, and who granted him absolution; and the 
other half he gave to a young woman who used occasionally to accompany 
him in some of his raids. After his death she went to Saint Louis, where 
White says he called on her and she told him that she furnished her house 
with the money that "Billy" left her. 

The question that interests me most just now is this: Will the 
absolution obtained through the kind offices of the Sisters and the Priest, 
for which he paid two thousand dollars or more, avail him? Is he now 
walking the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, singing the Psalms of 
David, or has ferryman Charon put him on the boat destined for hades, 
where unfortunately, he may meet some of his many victims who were not 
so fortunate as to have the absolution of a priest before their sudden tak- 
ing off at the hands of this bloody murderer? How much nobler to have 
given this money to his old mother, who was compelled to live in the Poor 
House for the last few years. No one but a blood-thirsty murderer would 
have treated his mother as Quantrell has treated his. 

The man, White, referred to in the above quotation was at one time 
with Quantrill. I find the following in reference to him in Harmon's 
letter : 

Several years after the war, the firm I was with hired a young man 
by the name of White, as a salesman. White told the writer that when 
Quantrell first organized his company of Missourians, which was for the 
ostensible purpose of protecting their property against the Kansas Jay- 
hawkers, that he, White, joined it, but soon found out that Quantrell would 
commit murder on the slightest excuse and at once left him and went to 
Texas, taking his father's horses and mules with him and remained there 
until after the war. At the same time that Quantrell was at the head 
of this Missouri company, he was also at the head of a company of Kansas 
Jayhawkers for the assumed purpose of protecting their property against 
Missouri raiders. 

As a further confirmation of the fact that Quantrell never sent his 
mother any money, there is a list of questions written by W. W. Scott 
for Mrs. Quantrill to answer. This list is in the Collection of the author. 



One of the questions is, "Did he [W. C. Quantrill] ever send any thing 
home?" The answer, written after the question, by Scott, is "Never." 
Scott evidently took his questions to Mrs. Quantrill and wrote down the 
answers to them from her own lips. 



THE first care of Beeson and Torrey upon their arrival 
on the Marais des Cygnes was to secure farms. The lands 
were all held by squatters pending the completion of sur- 
veys and sales of land by the government. The squatter might 
sell his "claim," and he often did so. This claim was only pos- 
session and the right to preempt the land and purchase it from 
the United States at public outcry. Beeson bought the squatter 
right to the northwest quarter of Section 34, Township 17, Range 
21, and Torrey purchased a similar right to the northeast quar- 
ter of the same section. Both claims were in Franklin county, 
but the corner of Torrey 's claim was only a half mile south and 
the same distance west of the village of Stanton, in Lykins, now 
Miami, county. The east line of Torrey 's claim was the line be- 
tween the counties. Torrey also bought a claim for Quantrill 
to hold for him. Quantrill was a minor and could not lawfully 
hold a claim for himself or any one else, but such irregularities 
were common at the time. The claim held by Quantrill is the 
northeast quarter of Section 21, Township 17, Eange 21, and 
something like two miles north of the claims of Beeson and Tor- 
rey. He never pretended that he held this claim for himself, 
never thought of having any ownership or title in the land, as- 
sertions of his admirers to the contrary notwithstanding. Beeson 
and Torrey each paid $500 for his claim, and Torrey paid $250 
for the claim held by Quantrill. For holding this claim, bidding 
it in at the land-sales, and assigning the certificate of sale to 
Torrey, Quantrill was to be paid $60. He did so hold the claim, 
did bid it in, and did assign the certificate of sale to Torrey. 1 

i They arrived in Lykins County, and settled near Stanton on the 
22d of March, each one of the three taking a claim, or rather buying a 
preemption right of a squatter, Beeson and Torrey each paying $500 for 


Upon the claim purchased by Torrey stood an old log cabin 
of small dimensions. Across the back part of it there was a 
sort of platform which served as a bedstead and upon which 
Torrey and Beeson slept. Quantrill and Richard Beeson slept 
on blankets spread before the fire on the floor. The spring nights 
were cold, and when the fire would burn down the room became 
uncomfortable. Quantrill would then roll himself in the blankets 
and leave young Beeson to freeze, and the remonstrances of 
Beeson and Torrey did not cause him to quit the practice. One 
night Beeson said, "Richard, you sleep with Colonel Torrey, and 
I will sleep with Bill," (by Ohio associates Quantrill was usu- 
ally called "Bill"). The change in bedfellows was accordingly 

Colonel Torrey had brought from Mexico a dagger with a 
blade some twelve inches in length, a finely proportioned and 
beautiful weapon which he had in his trunk in the cabin. In 
the night while sleeping Beeson was seized with an apprehension 
of immediate danger, and with difficulty forced himself awake. 
By the dim light of the fire he saw Quantrill standing over him 

their claims, and also paying $250 for the claim standing in Quantrill 's 
name. Andreas 's History of Kansas, p. 877. 

Mr. Torrey and myself and my oldest son Eichard and Wm C 
Quantrell Left Canal Dover on the 26th February 1857 Mr. Torrey going 
to New York to collect some money there and the Bal [the others] for 
Kansas with the understanding to meet in St. Louis. Left St. Louis on 
the 4th of March & Landed at Wayne City Landing on the 13th (Independ- 
ence Jackson Co. Mo) Bought our outfits and started for Kansas Land- 
ed at Stanton on the 22nd of March and Bought 3 claims or quarters of 
land Wm C. Quantrell holding a timber claim for Mr Torrey and Bidding 
it in for him on or about the 26 June or Perhaps 28 for and assigning the 
certificate of sale to Mr. Torrey he Paying the money to U S Commissioner 
Mr Walker at the Land Sales at Paola (and stands so to day on the 
government Record of said Sales) From letter of H. V. Beeson to 
W. W. Scott, dated Paola, Kansas, June 5, 1880. Letter now in the 
Collection of the author. 

The records in the United States land office at Topeka show that 
William C. Quantrill bid in the northeast quarter of Section 21, Township 
17, Eange 21, at the sale of public lands held in Paola on the 29th day of 
June, 1857, paying therefor $2.25 per acre, or $360 for the quarter sec- 

Some accounts say that Torrey paid Quantrill $200 to hold the claim 
and bid it in for him. Mrs. Frances Beeson Thompson thinks the amount 
was $200. Most people say that he was paid $60. The exact amount may 
never be known. 


in the act of plunging the Mexican dagger into his heart. He 
called to Quantrill to know what he was doing there, and Quan- 
trill hesitated. Torrey was by this time awake, and Beeson told 
him to make Quantrill put the dagger back into the trunk, which 
was standing open. This Torrey did. Beeson got up and went 
out of the house. He. returned with a good hickory switch or 
small club which he laid on until Quantrill cried for mercy. 3 

Quantrill wrote home frequently. A copy of the letter to 
his mother written May 16 is preserved. It shows that he 
wished to have her move to Kansas.s The letter is given below : 

Stanton Kansas Ter. May 16,1857. 
My dear Mother. 

1 have not received a letter from you since I left home, but 
I have heard that you are all well, which kept me satisfied; but 
I will not be so any longer until I receive a letter from you. And 
I shall continue to write until I receive a letter from you "in 
your own hand write" as the Irishman said. We are all well 
as usual. I have just finished a hard job of rolling logs at a 
clearing around our cabin, which we are going to put in potatoes. 
Yesterday we just finished planting a Ten-acre field of corn on 
the prairie, which Mr. Torrey & I plowed. Next week we are 
going to commence a 20 acre field, so that we will have corn 
enough for next winter at least. 

We have had a very backward spring here; but from what 
news we get they have had a worse time in Ohio and all of the 
eastern states. Although the trees are all green here, and the 
prairie looks like a field of wheat. I suppose by the time you 
receive this letter Granfather will be there if he is not there 
already. If he is there or not, I want you if possible to sell out 
there and let me have part of the money out here to procure a 
home for us all, consisting of 160 acres of land; either prairie 
or timber, or half of each, or almost any proportion of each one 
would wish to have. If you can do this by any possible means 
do so and we can move here this fall & be much more comfortably 
situated than in Dover, or any place else east of Kansas. Older 
heads than mine may try to persuade you that this is not the 
case, but it is so, for all is peace and quietness here now, & it 
will remain so without doubt. Why, not less than 50,000 people 
from the North have come into the Territory this spring so that 

2 Told me by Mrs. Frances Beeson Thompson. 

3 This copy was made by W. W. Scott. It is in the Collection of 
the author. What became of the original is not known. 


Kansas will soon be a State among States & able to maintain her 
own rights. 

If you can persuade Grandfather to let us sell out root & 
branch it will be undoubtedly the best thing you could do. Then 
we will all be square with the world & able to say our soul is 
our own without being contradicted. Is not this worth sacri- 
ficing something for? I think it is and so you will, I know. If 
we cannot do this I will not stay here longer than fall, for I can 
make more money in the States at teaching than by hard work 
here. I am here now as an agent to get a home for us all, which 
I can do if there is not too much opposition. I have thought 
over the matter, and Mr. Torrey says it is the best I can do. Do 
not let anybody persuade you out of this until they produce bet- 
ter grounds for not doing as I have said than I have for doing 
so. It is the best we can do, and everybody will say so who rea- 
sons the case well. 

If you can have such good luck as to dispose of the property, 
you can take out letters of administration yourself. If not, 
Grandfather or some one in whom you can confide. If the thing 
can be done, do it as soon as you can for it will be all the better. 

I will tell you now how we get along here. We live on side 
meat bacon about four inches thick; corn cakes, beans, few 
dried apples occasionally, & fish & squirrels when we can get 
them which we have pretty good luck doing. Our house is built 
of round logs with a fire place made partly of stone ; a floor made 
of puncheon that is split boards about 3 inches thick. Our 
furniture consists of 2 stools made out of puncheon, 3 trunks & 
a table made when we wish to use it by putting a board (which 
we found in the river) across the 2 trunks. Our walls are deco- 
rated with guns, boots, side meat, skillets, surveying chain &c. 
The only job that we have to do that we all dislike, is dishwash- 
ing which Mr. Beeson is doing now. We have to take turn about 
at it ; no one will do it more than twice in succession. Our stock 
consists of 3 yoke of cattle, six pigs & about 2 dozen chickens. 
We will have by fall 3 times as much stock if we have good luck. 
All I want is for the rest of you to be here, and we will live 
twice as fast. 

The letter ends abruptly, and there is no signature on the 
copy. It is probable that the whole letter was not copied. 

Although Quantrill was paid to work he was a very unsatis- 
factory hand. He prowled through the timber of the river 
bottoms with a gun most of the time, and every day he visited 
the claim he was holding for Torrey. He would not be brought 
to see that he should apply himself steadily to the employment 


for which he was paid, and on his mother's account he was not 
discharged. After he had bid in the land for Torrey and re- 
ceived his pay therefor, he began to stay much of the time at the 
house of one John Bennings.4 Bennings was in full sympathy 
with the pro-slavery element, though he pretended to be a Free- 
State man. He persuaded Quantrill to believe that he had been 
swindled by Torrey and Beeson. Quantrill demanded $90 in 
addition to what had been paid him. Rather than have a diffi- 

4 In an interview had by the author with Martin Van Buren Jackson, 
father of Hon. Fred 8. Jackson, attorney general of Kansas, March 13, 
1908, the following information about the Bennings family was obtained. 
Mr. Jackson was one of the earliest settlers at Stanton, and his son Fred 
was born in the old blockhouse there: 

John Bennings was born in Pike county, Mo., as Mr. Jackson be- 
lieved. It is certain that he lived there at one time, for in the Andreas 
History of Kansas it ia stated that his two sons were born there. Bennings 
was a tall thin-breasted man, afflicted with the old lingering consumption. 
His children were all tall and thin-breasted, and they all seemed to have 
consumption. They died in early life, soon after they were grown up. 
The children were: 

John Bennings, 

Adolphus Y. Benningg, 

Albert Bennings, 

"Bud" Bennings, ( James f) 

"Sis" Bennings. 

They are all dead. John Bennings, the father, was a frontiersman. 
He went to California from Pike county, Mo., in 1849, taking his family. 
He went from California to Texas. He came to Kansas Territory from 
Texas, and took a claim on the Marais des Cygnes, near Stanton. He was 
a hunter and trapper. He had a long, heavy rifle, of large caliber, with 
which to kill buffaloes, which he called "Betsey" or "Old Betsey." He 
had a very large shot-gun, and other rifles, pistols and knives, also many 
traps in which to capture wild animals. His only occupation was hunting 
and trapping in the heavy timber along the Marais des Cygnes. 

Quantrill liked Bennings and his shiftless ways of living liked the 
haphazard, irresponsible life led by Bennings. Quantrill loved to roam 
and tramp idly and aimlessly. These traits bound Quantrill and the Ben- 
nings family. Bennings was a strong pro-slavery man, and the first bent 
of Qnantrill in favor of the border-ruffians came from his association with 
the Bennings family. 

Adolphus Y. Bennings told James Hanway that he was with Quan- 
trill on his trip across the Plains, and they were probably in Utah to- 
gether, returning by way of Pike's Peak. The card of Hanway with this 
information is in the Collection of the author. 


culty with him it was agreed, through the efforts of E. P. Hicks, 
that he should be paid $63 in two deferred installments one 
of $33 and one of $30.s 

5 There has been much said and little known of this settlement. As 
good an authority as the Andreas History of Kansas (Herd Book) says 
this claim was submitted to a "squatter's court": 

Some time afterwards Quantrill desired to sell out his interest in 
the claim; and as he and Mr. Torrey could not agree as to what was 
rightly due Quantrill, the matter was submitted to a "squatter's court" for 
arbitration. The court decided that Beeson and Torrey owed Quantrill 
$63. The financial relations between Messrs. Beeson and Torrey were such 
that the understanding was reached between them that the latter should 
pay Quantrill the $63. Torrey had no money to pay with, and in order for 
him to raise the money it was necessary for him to go to Lecompton to 
sell some land warrants he held. On account of sickness he was unable 
to go to Lecompton. Andreas 's History of Kansas, p. 877. 

While the settlement was by arbitration it was a small matter and 
made no stir in the community. It has been confused with the settle- 
ment of the business relations between Beeson and Torrey. Even the 
children of Beeson make this mistake. The "squatter's court" was con- 
vened to adjust the matters between Beeson and Torrey, and it consisted 
of a number of settlers, among them Joab Toney, J. B. Hobson, Josiab 
Bundy, Charles Eice, and perhaps 3. A. Hester. Hobson acted as secre- 
tary and it required several days to make a satisfactory settlement. Mrs. 
Frances Beeson Thompson remembers carrying meals to the arbitrators, 
who held their court in an old log cabin on the river below Beeson 's. 
Mr. Hobson writes the author as follows: 

Paola, Kansas, Oct. 22, 1907. 

I was not sec. of the board of arbitration between Quantrill, Beeson 
and Torrey. Their differences were adjusted by E. P. Hicks, the father 
of Mrs. David Overmyer of Topeka. 

I was one of the arbitrators that settled the partnership business be- 
tween Torrey and Beeson with which Quantrill had nothing to do. 

My recollection is that Torrey and Beeson and Quantrill had a busi- 
ness dispute and Quantrill took a yoke of oxen belonging to Torrey and 
Beeson and hid them in the brush for the purpose of forcing a settlement 
as he Q. claimed. All three of the parties came to Stanton and selected 
E. P. Hicks to arbitrate their differences which he did and the oxen 
were returned. I dont remember what Hick's findings were. 

The last payment made to Quantrill on his award was made in October, 
1857. The receipt for this final payment is now in the library of the 
Kansas State Historical Society and is as follows: 

30,00 Eecd Stanton Oct 22d 1857 of George Torrey thirty dollars for 
bal. due on settlement by arbitration with Torrey & Beeson 

(Signed) W. C. Quantrill 

The receipt is No. 1288, Kansas State Historical Society Collections. 
It was furnished the Society by John Speer, September 30, 1878. Speer 
seems to have secured it from Mrs. Wagstaff. It is endorsed: "W. C. 
Quantrill Eeceipt 30,00." 


After settlement and before payments had been made on the 
award Quantrill became clamorous for his money, perhaps at 
the instigation of Bennings. The amount was due from Torrey 
and not from Beeson. To force payment Quantrill stole a yoke 
of oxen from Beeson and some fine blankets and a brace of re- 
volvers from Torrey. Beeson looked the country over for his 
cattle, thinking at first that they had strayed. Not finding them 
and being unable to hear anything of them, he concluded that 
Quantrill had stolen them. Meeting Quantrill, he accused him 
of the theft, told him if the cattle were not pointed out to him 
he would shoot him down like a dog, reminding Quantrill of his 
ingratitude and dishonesty. He ordered Quantrill to step into 
the path before him and lead the way to the cattle on pain of 
instant death. Quantrill stepped into the path as directed, and 
Beeson put the muzzle of his gun against Quantrill's back and 
told him to lead on. Quantrill led the way into a dense thicket 
in the river bottom, and there stood the oxen, yoked, chained to 
a tree, and so weak from starvation that they could scarcely 
stand. They were famished for water, and had to be fed and 
watered a day or two before they were strong enough to be 
driven home. 6 

It is not probable that Beeson saw much of Quantrill subse- 
quent to the settlement made at the instigation of Bennings, for 

6 The Andreas History says : In consequence of this delay Quan- 
trill became impatient, and in order to get his pay, stole a yoke of cattle 
belonging to Mr. Beeson. Some few days thereafter Beeson met Quantrill 
about sunrise on the prairie. Quantrill turned to avoid Beeson, when the 
latter, bringing his rifle to bear upon the former, who was about ten rods 
distant, hailed him with, "Bill, stop! I want to see you." Quantrill 
turned towards Beeson, when the latter again commanded, "Lay your gun 
down in the grass ! ' ' This order was also obeyed, when Beeson said, ' ' You 
must bring my oxen back by three o'clock this afternoon, or I shall shoot 
you on sight ! ' ' Quantrill promised to return the oxen, and did so about 
four o'clock that day. Andreas' s History of Kansas, p. 877. 

For Pay of $60.00 he stole a Yoke of Oxen from me and kept them 
hid in the Brush until compelled to return them at muzzel of Eifle He 
stole from Mr. Torrey 1 Pr of Mackinaw Blankets and a Pair of Navy 
Revolvers the Last he was made to return and the Blankets were found 
rotten in a hollow Log some time afterwards. Letter of H. V. Beeson 
to W. W. Scott, dated Paola, Kansas, June 5, 1880. The letter is in the 
Collection of the author. 

The account written in the text was secured frm the children of 
Beeson, and it does not fully agree with the account given by Andreas, 
and it is possible that it differs from that written by Beeson himself. 


he was engaged in building a house on his claim. Quantrill, 
though, still continued to live at the Torrey cabin a part of the 
time. 7 

Quantrill wrote his mother a letter in July, a part of which 
has been copied and preserved. 8 It contains little that can be 
of value in the study of his life, but it does show that he was of 
an observing turn of mind and capable of the enjoyment of the 
beauties of nature. And it reveals the fact that he was restless, 
solitary and unhappy, a condition, which, if not relieved, was 
sure sooner or later to become unbearable and cause abandon- 
ment of all restraints imposed by society and revels in wild 
excesses. In a character constituted as was Quantrill 's such a 
condition of mind, if not remedied, was certain to result, as it 
did later, in a carnival of crime. The extract is as follows: 

Stanton, Kansas, July 9th, 1857. 

It is too dry now to work at the corn ; this is why I have this 
leisure time to write during the week. I have taken my atlas 
and went to the bank of the river in the shade, to write. Every- 
thing feels and looks happy; the wood is full of birds of every 
kind, seeing which can sing best and sweetest. The fish are 
playing in the water of the river, which is clear as crystal; and 
the squirrel bounds from tree to tree, till seing me he stops, and 
after eyeing me curiously, then scampers on again till I almost 
envy him his happiness. I have but one wish, and that is that 
you were here, for I cannot be happy here all alone; and it 
seems that I am the only person or thing that is not happy along 
this beautiful stream. But I must close my letter, or I will 
make you sad ; and in caring for three helpless children you have 
cares enough without my adding to them. 

Such characters are always strangers to that happiness 
the only source of happiness which comes from a sense of 
duty performed, from the knowledge of an honest purpose in 
life, from right action towards fellow-men. Quantrill was at 

7 There was some mysterious tie or connection between Quantrill and 
the Torreys. This relation survived the Civil War and cannot be explained. 
The Torreys were always staunch defenders of Quantrill and his memory. 
It is one of the mysteries connected with Quantrill 's life. 

8 This extract was copied by W. W. Scott from the original letter, 
evidently. The letter is not known to be in existence. The copy is in 
the Collection of the author. 


the time a boy, young man, longing for happiness, yet daily 
violating the laws of happiness, doing the very things which 
would make happiness impossible, constantly forfeiting the con- 
fidence and respect of his friends and neighbors by indulging in 
crime. He still believed that despite all these things he should 
have been happy. He came finally to be against all men, believ- 
ing them enemies, believing them to be unreasonably antagon- 
istic to him, purposely preventing his attainment of content- 
ment and happiness, seeking revenge upon society for an imag- 
inary wrong for something amiss within himself, a malady 
which affected only his own soul. This condition becomes more 
and more apparent in him, as revealed by his letters, espe- 
cially those written by him at a subsequent date while teach- 

Beeson returned to Canal Dover early in August to bring 
his family to Kansas. Quantrill was still enthusiastic about his 
mother's moving to Kansas. Beeson carried a letter to him 
from his mother, which he says is the first he had received from 
her. In his reply he said he would go on a claim and that he 
intended soon to leave Torrey 's. He told of the dissatisfaction 
of the families of Beeson and Torrey with their new homes in 
Kansas. 9 His mother must have warned him against an early 
marriage, and he gave her an assurance that he was "too smart 
for that." The letter is set out below: 

Stanton Kansas Territory 

August 23 d 1857 
My Dear Mother. 

I received your letter by Mr Beeson & it was the first I have 
received but I hope not the last. The folks all arrived here 
safely ; But they have the blues now awfully there is not enough 
of city here for them. I am going to [go] on a claim in a few 
weeks, & I will probably leave Mr. Torrey this week. I wrote a 
letter to Grandfather to day & I wrote to him about Frank com- 
ing out here & a fine letter about Kansas. 

I think I shall yet try to get a farm. Do not be afraid of 
me getting married in a hurry I am to[o] smart for that. I 
dont think I will see Beesons very often for I am going to do 
for myself now. I cannot write you a long letter this time but 

9 This is a beautifully written letter. It is in the Collection of the 


I will write you another in a week I cannot write any longer 
& I must close. 

I am Well & hope you may be the same. 

Yours Truly 
Your Son 

W. C. Quantrill 
The next letter you write Direct to Stanton Kansas Territory 

At a later date he wrote a letter to his brother Franklin, 
which is now in the library of the Kansas State Historical 
Society. 10 At that time he was evidently expecting to return to 
Canal Dover, as the letter will show: 

Franklin I have never answered those few lines of yours 
yet but will try to do so now. I am glad to hear that you are 
well except your leg. You say you and Thomson are going to 
school. You ought soon to be able to teach school I think and 
when I come home I think I will have you try it. I suppose 
Thomson has grown to be quite a large boy and when I come 
home I have something in view for him to do if he has attended 
well to his book tell him to study hard for he ought to beat me 
almost now that I have been so long amongst the indians 

Your brother 

W. C. Quantrill 

The return of Beeson to Canal Dover for the purpose of 
taking his family to Kansas created interest, in that village, in 
Kansas Territory. Some time in the following fall (1857) a 
number of Canal Dover young men went to Kansas. They were 
all acquaintances and friends of the Beeson and Torrey families, 
and among them were John Diehl, Alexander McCartney, 
Charles Wood, and George Hildt. They were all schoolmates of 

10 This letter has no date. It seems to have been written on a part 
of the paper of a letter to some one else, probably his mother, and to have 
been torn off afterwards. W. W. Scott gave it to the Society. Perhaps 
he tore it off the letter to which it was attached. Or Quantrill may have 
written it on a scrap and sent it with a letter to some other member of 
the family. It is written on both sides of a scrap some two inches wide 
torn from the bottom of a sheet of note paper. It is quite well written, 
the penmanship being delicate and regular, much resembling that of a 
woman of refinement, and it is superior to any other writing of his, though 
there is no mistaking it for the writing of any other person. Quantrill 
wrote it. 


Quantrill. They settled on adjoining claims in what is now 
McCamish township, Johnson county, Kansas." Quantrill went 
there with them and took a claim. They built a cabin on one 
of the claims in which they all lived, and on each claim they 
erected a pen or put up a few logs to hold possession until they 
could break the land in the spring. In memory of their old 
Ohio home they called their settlement Tuscarora Lake. In 
January Quantrill wrote a letter to W. W. Scott, who lived in 
Canal Dover. 12 There are a number of vulgar allusions in the 
letter, such as are found in none of his other letters, and which 
may be accounted for by remembering that it was written to a 
young man with whom he was on familiar terms. He was at 
4hat time seemingly in earnest about getting a farm for himself, 
urged others to come out and take claims: 

Tuscarora Lake 

Jan, 22 d 1858 
Friend William. 

I have come to the conclusion to write to you again. You 
wrote to me last summer & I answered it shortly afterward; 
but, not having received one afterwards, I came to the conclu- 
sion that you had never received it ; for at that time letters fre- 
quently were mislaid & lost. 

But when one does sit down to write here, he hardly knows 
what to say; for situated as we are, (that is keeping Bach,) & 
away from any town we are at more of a loss for news &c. than 
you gentlemen in the city there. 

I have left Col Torreys & now live with the rest of the Dover 
boys here. George Hildt is in Dover ere this & if you see him 
tell him we are all well & that the claim North of mine was 
jumped last Monday by a young fellow from Ind. 

About the last election here is this 10,126 votes against the 
Lecompton swindle & 6000 for it, of which 3000 if not more 
were illegal. I saw the Ohio Democrat here yesterday which had 
some what I call D - n lies about Kansas & I would like to tell 
the editor so to his face. He said Jim Lane, (as good a man as 

1 1 From information given the author by Mrs. Frances Beeson Thomp- 
son and Mrs. Isaac N. Sparks, daughters of Beeson. To their best recollec- 
tion these claims were taken about the first of December, 1857. 

1 2 Letter of W. C. Quantrill to W. W. Scott, now in the Collection of 
the author. It is carelessly written in a coarse sprawling hand, and must 
have been written hurriedly. 


we have here) was fighting with U. S. Troops at Fort Scott, he 
was there but did no fighting ; his presence is enough to frighten 
100 Missourians. The settlers shot two men & wounded 4 or 5 
but in self defence, it is a pity they had not shot every Mis- 
sourian that was there. The democrats here are the worst men 
we have for they are all rascals, for no one can be a democrat 
here without being one; but the day of their death is fast 
approaching & they will be like the jews be scattered to the four 
winds of the earth & a guilty look which will always betray them. 

If you are in the printing office yet tell the editor if he 
wants any subscribers in Kansas he must do a little better than 
he has done, for the boys here will hardly use it when they go 
back of the house. 

If you know where George Scott is tell him to write to me or 
if he wants to get a farm of [for] nothing to come here as soon 
as he can; for there are good chances here now, tell him I am 
safe for 160 acres of land & that I will insure the same to him 
if he comes here in 8 or 10 weeks; & you too Billy $40 will 
Bring him here yes 30 if he is economical & I will insure any 
one $1.50 a day if he wants to work, & Friend William if you 
want land here is the only place to get it cheap & you had better 
come if you want any. Tell George if he wants to come, to 
come by railroad to Jefferson city, Mo. & then shoulder his car- 
pet sack & foot it to Independence & from there to Little Santa 
Fe. & then to Olathe Johnson County K. T. which is six day 
walk, if you see any Boys around dover who want to come tell 
them what I have written. 

We have the finest weather imaginable well to tell you the 
truth the grass has been growing on the prairie all winter or dur- 
ing the season we call winter & we have no rainy or wet weather 

Last week I helped to kill a deer & since I have been here I 
have killed myself 2 antelope & one deer & about 25 Wild Tur- 
keys & geese & before you see me in Ohio I will have killed buf- 
falo for they are plenty about 100 miles west of us now & those 
who have killed them say it is fine sport at least if I keep my 
health I will try it. This is the place to hunt there is more game 
to be seen in one day here than in a whole year there. 

About the girls I cannot say as much as you could but this 
is certain a man can have his choice for we have all kinds & 
colors here Black White & Ked But to tell you which I like the 
best is a mixture of the two latter colors if properly brought up 
for they are both rich and good looking & I think go ahead of 
your Dover gals far enough. Em Walton would pass very well 
for a squaw if she was better looking but I think from present 



i-.- ;t. . . ** 


appearances John Diehl will squaw her about next fall or winter 
& that will bleach her a little probably. When you write tell 
me all about the girls & especially yours & my fair one that used 
to be in years past, if she is around yet. You and the rest of the 
boys there must attend to the girls well while we are here in Kan- 
sas, & tell them we are all going to marry squaws & when they 
die we are coming to old Dover for our second wives so that 
they must not despair. 

I must close. Now write soon give me all the news my love 
to the boys & girls & oblige 

Your obedient S. 

W. C. Quantrill 

These young men always spent Sunday at the house of 
Beeson, going there on Saturday evening. Quantrill went with 
them, and usually went on to the house of Bennings; at other 
times he stopped with the Torreys. This continued until well 
along into the spring of 1858, when the others came down one 
Saturday evening without Quantrill. They had driven him out 
of their camp for stealing. When the weather became mild in 
the spring they began to miss their blankets. Some one was 
stealing their provisions also. Quantrill had been loudest in 
his condemnation of the thieves and had even played detective 
and accused some settlers on Cedar creek. But his actions 
brought suspicion upon himself. The boys said nothing at the 
time, but kept watch. They sodn caught Quantrill stealing 
some provisions, clothing, and a pistol. They made inquiry of 
other settlers and found their blankets, and the settlers said 
they had been buying provisions from Quantrill all winter and 
had bought the blankets from him in the spring. The boys were 
so disgusted with him that they forced him to leave the camp, 
not wishing to punish him because of his mother and his having 
grown up with them. He was gone two or three weeks, when he 
returned to Stanton and again took up his abode with Bennings. 
But he was in bad repute and soon went to Fort Leavenworth. 
There he attached himself to a provision train bound for Utah 
with supplies for the army taken out the previous summer to 
subdue the Mormons. He claimed to have accompanied this 
train in the capacity of a herder or teamster. If he had any 
position at all it must have been in some roustabout capacity. 


R. M. Peck, in The National Tribune, September 22, 1904, says 
he was a hanger-on following the army, and that he was one of 
the most reckless and successful gamblers in the camp at Fort 
Bridger. 1 a The particulars of Quantrill's trip across the Plains 

13 He was then known as Charley Hart. E. M. Peck, now (1909) of 
Whittier, California, saw Quantrill at Tort Bridger and witnessed one of 
his gambling exploits, which he believes was in June, 1858: 

I was a soldier in one of the two companies of 1st Cav. that formed 
a part of the command of Lieut. Col. Wm. Hoffman, 6th Inf., which com- 
mand was sent out from Fort Leavenworth early in the spring of '58 to 
escort several trains some mule teams and some of oxen loaded with 
supplies for the command of Brvt. Brig. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, 
Commanding the Mormon Expedition, who had been snowed in all winter at 
Port Bridger. or Camp Scott, as it was officially designated. 

We arrived at Camp Scott in the first days of June. A paymaster 
who had followed us arrived about the same time and paid the soldiers 
off. As there were few ways of spending the money outside of Judge 
Carter's sutler store, where prices were outrageously high, during the few 
days that intervened between our arrival at Fort Bridger and the depart- 
ure of Gen. Johnston's forces for Salt Lake City, gambling was rife 
throughout the camp, and, as usually happens, in a short time, a few sharp- 
ers had nearly all the soldiers' money. 

Amony the celebrites of the camp I had frequently heard the name 
of Charley Hart mentioned, whose notoriety seemed to be derived from his- 
reckless bettings and phenomenal winnings. I heard it stated that he had 
come out from Kansas with Gen. Johnston's troops the previous fall, 
working as a teamster in one of the six-mule trains. 

While sauntering through a big gambling tent a day or so after pay- 
day, watching the fluctuations of fortune at the various tables where 
chance games were being operated, I heard some one remark, "There 
comes Charley Hart", and having heard his fame as a wild plunger in 
gambling, I took a good look at him. I could see nothing heroic in his 
appearance, but considerable of the rowdy, as I now recall the impression 
I then got of him. 

He was apparently about twenty-two or twenty- three years of age; 
about five feet ten inches in height; with an ungraceful, slouchy walk; 
and by no means prepossessing in features. He had evidently been patron- 
izing Judge Carter's store, since he "struck it rich," for his clothes all 
seemed new. A pair of high-heeled calf -skin boots of small size; bottoms 
of trousers tucked into boot-tops; a navy pistol swinging from his waist 
belt; a fancy blue flannel shirt; no coat; a colored silk handkerchief tied 
loosely around his neck; yellow hair hanging nearly to the shoulders; 
topped out by the inevitable cow-boy hat. This is the picture of Charley 
Hart as my memory presents him now. 

As he entered the tent he carried in his left hand a colored silk 
handkerchief, gathered by the four corners, which apparently contained 
coin. Advancing to one of the tables where the operator, or banker, as 
the dealer of a chance game is usually called, was dealing "Monte", he 
set the handkerchief on the table and opened it out, showing the contents- 
to be gold coins, and seemingly in bulk about equal to the stacks of gold 
coins tiered up on the table in front of the banker. 

Hart then asked, "Take a tap, pard?" meaning would the banker ac- 
cept a bet of Hart's pile against the dealer's, on the turn of a card. The 


are not known. "Whether he went directly from Fort Leaven- 
worth to Utah, or whether he loitered in the camps along the 
California Trail to ply his profession of gambler until late in 
the summer, and then crossed over to Utah, we do not know. 
We know from his letters that he was at South Pass on the third 
day of September, 1858, and that he went on to Utah and was 
there until the spring of 1859. All of this year 1858, after he 
left Stanton (about the first of May), was spent in Utah or on 
the road thither. He arrived at Salt Lake City about the first 

banker accepted the challenge, shuffled the cards, passed the deck to Hart 
to cut, then threw out the "lay-out" of six cards, in a ' ' column-of -twos " 
style. Hart then set his handkerchief of gold on a card, at the same time 
drawing his pistol, "Just to insure fair play," he remarked, seeing that 
the banker had his gun lying on the table convenient to his right hand. 
Keeping his eye on the banker's hands, to make sure that the deal was 
done "on the square", Hart said, "Now deal." 

Turning the deck face up the banker drew the cards off successively. 
Hart's card won. As the dealer looked up with a muttered oath he found 
himself looking into the muzzle of Hart's pistol. 

' ' Back out ' ', said Hart quietly. ' ' Don 't even touch your pistol. I '11 
give it back to you when I rake in the pot." 

The banker did as directed, while Hart, without showing any nervous- 
ness, still holding his pistol in one hand, reached across the table and with 
the other arm swept the banker's money and pistol over to him. Picking 
out the twenties, tens, fives and two-and-a-half pieces, he tossed them into 
his handkerchief. There still remained on the table about a double hand- 
full of small silver, (there were very few silver dollars in circulation then, 
the little one-dollar gold pieces being largely used in their stead), and a 
handfull of gold dollars. Sweeping this small stuff into his hands, Hart 
said, "I don't carry such chicken feed as that," as he tossed the small 
coins up in the air and let the crowd scramble for them. 

Then handing the dejected looking banker his pistol and a twenty- 
dollar gold piece, he said: "There, pard, is a stake for you," and gather- 
ing up his plethoric handkerchief, he meandered on seeking new banks to 

The next day, so I was told, Hart's marvelous luck deserted him, and 
he lost every dollar he had; and after trying in vain to "strike it up 
again", he became discouraged and disgusted with gambling, joined some 
outfit going back to the states, and went back to Kansas dead broke. 

I never heard the name Quantrill used till the summer of '61, when 
his depredations along the borders of Missouri and Kansas were bringing 
the name into unpleasant notoriety. I then heard that Quantrill, the 
bloody-handed guerrilla leader, and Charley Hart, the reckless gambler of 
Fort Bridger, were identical. 

This letter is dated, Whittier, California, November 6, 1907, and 
is addressed to the author, and is now in his Collection. In a later letter 
to the author, Mr. Peck says that it was in June that he first saw Charley 
Hart at Fort Bridger in 1858. This is possibly an error; it may have been 
later. Mr. Peck served in the Union army along the border of Missouri 
and Kansas during the Civil War. 


of October, and he wrote from that point to his mother on the 
15th. 1 * It was his intention to go on to the Colville gold mines 
in Canada in the spring of 1859, but this he did not do. The 
letter to his mother is as follows: 

Great Salt Lake City. 

Oct. 15th 1858 
My Dear Mother. 

I have wrote to you several times since I started across the 
plains, but I never have had a letter yet, but I do not care so 
much if you know where I am and know that I am well and 
doing well. I arrived here about two weeks ago, and I was 
never so surprised in my life as I was to find a people living 
here in large cities and towns and farming the lands here, which, 
without their untiring labor, would be a desert producing neither 
grass nor timber, nothing but a few stunted weeds; but they 
have converted it into fine farms and gardens, by ditching from 
the mountain streams and watering the whole country. You go 
in their towns and cities and you find the purest and clearest of 
spring water coming from the snow capped mountains, and run- 
ning on either side of the streets and through their lots in small 
but rapid streams, carrying off the filth & keeping every thing 
fresh as it was when spring first opened. They are an indus- 
trious people and all hold to their religion in a manner which 
shows no hypocrisy, and I think their morals are as good as 
any people I have met with in my travels. 

I have not seen Brigham Young yet, as he has to keep 
indoors since the war on account of some of the threats made by 
some of the Mormons & Gentiles and of course they have no 
religious services & therefore I have had no chance to learn much 
of their religion. But there is this about it I believe they are 
not half so bad as they want to make out, at least there is very 
little of it shown now, & I have been in about 12 or 15 of their 
towns and cities, they are scattered for 300 miles south of Salt 
Lake in the valley, in towns, from 10 to 15 miles apart. They 
settle in this way to defend themselves from the Indians. They 
held an agricultural fair since I have been here, in the city, and 
I was never so agreeably surprised, for it equaled any of our 
county fairs in every thing except fine horses, and cattle, and 
peaches, apples, plums, grapes, & indeed all kinds of fruits and 
vegetables equaled and in some instances far surpassed any 
thing in the east that ever I had seen ; especially the vegetables, 
onions as large as a saucer, potatoes, beets, radishes, carrots, 

14 The original of this letter is lost. W. W. Scott made a copy of it, 
which is in the Collection of the author. 


parsnips, &c., were larger than any I had ever seen; and then 
the needle work was very fine, and the picture gallery was 
splendid & the specimens of their manufactures were very fine 
indeed, & then a very fine brass band & string band entertained 
us an hour or so every half day very agreeably, & indeed I am 
so well pleased that I shall stay with them this winter at least. 
I am going to apply for a school and I think I can obtain one, 
they pay from $50 to $60 per month & I think that will pay 
for one winter at least. 

The soldiers are camped about 45 miles from the city in 
Cedar Valley, they are having some trouble with the Indians 
but none in the least with the Mormons. 

I am going in the spring to the Colville gold mines in Can- 
ada, north of Oregon Territory which they say are equal to the 
California ; at least so says a friend of mine whom I knew in the 
States & who has been there but had to cease operations on 
account of the Indians; but Government will send troops there 
early in the spring, and are hiring men to go with them now so 
as to be all ready when spring opens. 

There has been no cold weather in the valley yet, but it 
has snowed considerable in the mountains for a month back, and 
indeed I was caught in a severe snow-storm on the South Pass 
in the Rocky Mountains on the 3rd day of September; & it 
snowed hard all day, and froze ice from an inch to two inches 
thick in our buckets for a week afterwards. There has been no 
frost in the valley yet ; or, indeed, they never have dew or frost, 
but when it comes cold it commences to snow, and for that rea- 
son it is very healthy. 

You need not expect me home till you see me there, but bear 
in mind that I will do what is right, take care of myself, try 
to make a fortune honestly, which I think I can do in a year 
or two. I will always let you know where I am & how I am 
doing & by the next mail I will send you my picture as I 
appeared in camp coming out here, and also a letter. I have 
given up long ago thinking my Grandfather will help me, & 
that is why I am here to make my fortune for the poorest laborer 
can command $40 per month & I think I can do more. I have 
not missed a meals victuals since I left Kansas, and I weighed 
when I came to the city 171 Ibs., so that you may not be afraid 
of my losing my health. I have got rid of that trouble in my 
throat. I am not thinking of getting married yet, although 
every man here has from 5 to 8 wives, & the rich have from 12 
to 20 & Brigham has at present 43. I will send you some of the 
Mormon papers when I can obtain them. Adieu 

Your Son 

W. C. Quantrill 


Direct to 

Great Salt Lake City 
Utah Territory 

Mrs. C. C. Quantrill 

In this letter Quantrill was evidently deceiving his mother, 
writing to her as a green country boy on a trip to his county 
seat might write. He was living one life and giving her the 
impression that he was living another. The reckless gambling, 
the rough language, the proficiency with the revolver were 
none of them mentioned. His companions were neither men- 
tioned nor described. Adolphus Y. Bennings was with him. 
Upton Hays, later associated with Quantrill in the guerrilla 
warfare along the border, and other young men from western 
Missouri who rode by the moon with him along the Blue and 
the Sni, bent on blood, roistered and gambled with him along 
the Oregon Trail and in the valleys of the Saints. 

Quantrill suffered from an attack of mountain fever, which 
he described in a letter to his mother. j s He told her he was to 
go to work as a clerk for the quartermaster of the army at $50 
per month, and that he would not return home without some 

Great Salt Lake City 

Dec 1 st 1858. 
My Dear Mother. 

I am again seated to write a few lines, which I should have 
done some time ago, but it was not in my power to do so any 
sooner on account of my having been very sick for about 3 weeks 
with what is called mountain fever a dangerous disease, which 
debilitates a person very soon, but once having broke the dis- 
ease a person gains very rapidly, for the last two weeks I have 
had such an appetite as hardly could be satisfied but I am very 
careful not to eat too much I feel very well at present, the 
Mormons here have treated me very well much better than I 
could have expected after their disturbance with what they call 
the Gentiles. Next week I am going to clerk for the Quarter 
Master in the army at $50 per month which is no more than 
25 at home I am so nervous that I can not write worth a cent. 

i s Letter of Quantrill to his mother. This letter is in the Collection 
of the author. It is poorly written and shows that he was suffering from 
the effects of the disease at the time. 


I can 't tell when I will be home. I am not coming home without 
some money. I will take care of myself. Give my love to all. 
If any thing is done with our property you take my share 

Your Son 

W. C. Quantrill 
Direct to Salt Lake City 

Utah Territory 

It is more than probable that he had no intention of going 
to work for the quartermaster, and in his next letter he said 
that he had lost the place through his own fault, and that he 
was employed as cook for a mess of twenty-five men. 16 He 
wrote from Camp Floyd, and if he was cooking at all it was 
most likely for some mess of hangers-on like himself: 

Camp Floyd 

Jan 9 th 1859. 
My Dear Mother. 

I again sit down to write a few lines to you without having 
yet had a letter from you since I have been here, the last letter 
I wrote to you was immediately after I had got up from a sick 
bed but now I am as well & hearty as ever, if not more so. I 
had rather a hard time of it then but it was all my own fault 
That throwed me out of employment in the dead of winter in one 
of the worst countries in the world for a case like mine I have 
been cooking for a mess of about 25 men for some time untill I 
can get a situation in government, which I have good recome[n]- 
dations for (as soon as a vacancy occurs,) from some of the 
head men in the camp, do not greeve any more than possible 
about me for I will surprise you some of these days which will 
be worth something dont fear. I have a notion to marry 4 or 
5 women here if I can for here is the only place I will ever have 
a chance I expect, the Mormons have from 3 to 8 on an average. 
They are a very ignorant set of people generally & generally 
great rogues & rascals thinking nothing to be to[o] bad to do 
to a gentile as they call us & I must say that the gentiles are 
generally the same way. It is drawing to what is called tattoo 
in camp that is when all lights are put out & they go to bed & 
the sentinel does not let any one pass him after that time. Now 
I must close give my love to all & do not dispair. 

Your Son 

W. C. Quantrill 
Direct to Salt Lake city 

1 6 This letter of Quantrill to his mother is in the Collection of the 
author. It is carelessly and hurriedly written and is brief. 


After this letter nothing was heard of Quantrill for more 
than six months. Some part of his adventures during that time 
is referred to in a letter to his mother written from Lawrence, 
Kansas, 30th July, 1859. ' 7 He had made another one of his 
erratic moves, one of his unexpected and lightning-like changes. 
He was drifting aimlessly about with no plans. The old rumors 
of a man murdered, perhaps more than one, on this trip fol- 
lowed him back from the canons across the Plains and would 
not down. And pinned to his next letter, in the handwriting of 
W. W. Scott, is the following note: 

The incident mentioned in this letter, furnished Quantrill 
with the foundation for the yarn he gave the Confederate side 
as his excuse for betraying his three comrades Morrison, Lipsey 
and [Ball] to their death, and his flopping from a Union man to 
a rebel. He told the Southern side that he was on his way thro 
Kans to Pike's Peak with his brother and team; and that the 
Kans Jayhawkers surprised them, murdered his brother, shot 
him thro the leg, and took the team and outfit. 

When he would deceive a community as to his motives, 
when bloody-handed and guilty, thrice guilty, of murder, he 
stood in the presence of strangers who could not comprehend 
his traitorous action, he turned to his adventures on the Plains, 
and from them evolved a lie as black as midnight which he 
hoped would save his guilty neck and slander a people, a State. 

Lawrence July 30 th /59. 
My Dear Mother. 

It has been some time since I wrote to you, and I am now 
a long ways distant from the place I last wrote to you. I have 
seen some pretty hard & scaly times, both from cold weather & 
starvation & the Indians & I am one of 7 out of a party of 19 
who started from Salt Lake city for the Gold Mines of Pikes 
Peak, which are talked of all over the country & undoubtedly 
the Humbug of all Humbugs; I say so because I spent two 
months in the Gold region haveing my own experience & that of 
a number with whom I was acquainted to prove it conclusively. 

17 The original letter is in the Collection of the author. It is fair- 
ly well written, though not so full as we could wish. He could have made 
the work of the historian so much more satisfactory by lifting the veil 
just a little more. 



there is more or less gold scattered over a country about 40 
[miles] in width riming from the mountains east & about 200 
[miles] long running with the mountains but not in quantities 
paying of 1.00 per day in the best diggings. I dug out $54.34 & 
worked 47 days which money hardly paid my board and ex- 

I am now in Lawrence after having spent over $300 & 
many a day & night when I expected either to be killed or freeze 
to death & at last when nearly in the settlements to have my 
horse and all taken from me & a companion of mine shot in 
3 different places & left for dead & all that saved my head was 
I was out hunting away from the camp about a mile and a half 

6 hearing the firing hurried to camp in time to see the indians 
driving off our horses & my friend lying on the ground ap- 
parently dead but still breathing with difficulty having been 
shot 3 times, his leg broke below the knee shot in the thigh with 

7 iron slugs & last shot through the body with an arrow which 
I first thought would kill him but he lives yet & if taken care of 
properly will be as well as ever in 6 or 8 weeks. I hardly 
know what to do at present nor where to go but in my next letter 
I will be able to tell you some more I think my friend & myself 
will make government pay us for our losses by the Indians if 
possible when he gets well You would hardly know me if you 
were to see me I am so weather beaten & rough looking that 
every body says I am about 25 years of age I expect every 
body thinks & talks hard about [me] but I cannot help it now 
it will be all straight before another winter passes. I must 
bring my letter to a close by saying that I am well, & my love 
to all. 

Your Son 

W. C. Quantrill 
Direct to Osawatomie 
Lykins Co 

K. T. 

Nothing has developed to indicate who was his companion. 
Taking his own statement, twelve of his compaions died from 
some cause, and the odor of murder came in from the Rocky 
Mountains with him. He felt that his mother knew the estima- 
tien in which he was held and the hard talk afloat about him 
and said he could not help it then. Whether he killed a man or 
men in the Pike's Peak gold regions may never be known. In 
his later letters he described some of his adventures in mining 
for gold. That is all that can be positively charged to him now 


all that can be known at this time of that most mysterious 
life in those dim days in the snowy gulches and on the hazy 
plains sweeping up to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. 

Quantrill returned to the vicinity of his first haunts in 
Kansas. He requested that his mail be directed to Osawatomie. 
When he went there is not known. What he did there, if any 
thing, before the following winter, there is nothing to tell. He 
may have joined in raids into Missouri to free slaves and carry 
out loot and plunder, and he probably did that. About this time 
he began to play detective both for his own interests and for hire. 
At Osawatomie it is said that he raided Kansas as well as Mis- 
souri, robbing wherever the opportunity offered, living a sort of 
double life, a border-ruffian in Missouri and a Jayhawker in 
Kansas. There he made the acquaintance of Jennison and the 
Snyders and other radical anti-slavery men. Some of these were 
ranging up and down the Marias des Cygnes, occasionally prey- 
ing on the pro-slavery settlers and sometimes shooting or hang- 
ing them, and it must be said that some of them needed shooting 
or hanging very much, while others of them were splendid men, 
good settlers earnestly striving to build homes for themselves 
and families; these were rarely molested. They remained in 
Kansas ; some of them went into the Union army ; many of them 
came to take an active interest in building the State when the 
war was over and are to-day among its foremost citizens. 

More than two years before he had arrived in Kansas with 
opportunities equal to any other young man in the rising new 
territory. But he accomplished nothing. If he brought in a 
good name with him he had forfeited it. He was branded as a 
thief and robber, and the rumors of murder committed by him 
would not be silenced. He was a vagrant. He had no occupa- 
tion, no visible means of support. He would not apply himself, 
was given to sudden and unexpected changes, mysterious appear- 
ances and disappearances. He was sliding rapidly down the 
scale of morality to the inevitable consequences of his course 
total depravity. 18 

[The author attended the reunion of the guerrillas who 
served under Quantrill held at Independence, Mo., August 

1 8 The character of helpers, teamsters, herders, roustabouts, and hang- 


20-21, 1909. There he formed the acquaintance of J. B. For- 
bis, a young man who lives in the town. Mr. Forbis said 
there was a man living in Independence named Chiles who 
was an army contractor at Fort Leavenworth in 1858. Mr. 
Chiles had to deliver eighteen hundred cattle at Fort Laramie 
that spring. While hiring herders three men were turned 
over to him by some one. They wanted work, and he hired 

ers-on who went out to Utah in the summer of 1858 may be found fully 
described in Five Tears a Dragoon, by P. G. Lowe, beginning at page 302 : 

The conditions of Colonel Johnston's army were such that the Gov- 
ernment saw the necessity of moving other commands to the front as 
promptly as possible. Great numbers of horses and mules were purchased 
at Fort Leavenworth, many of the latter unbroken, and the task of organiz- 
ing and breaking in trains fit to transport supplies for troops in the field 
was no small matter. 

At Two Mile Creek, below the fort, were located extensive corrals 
and a "catching-out" crew under experienced "mule tamers", and here 
all mules were first hitched to wagons and sent to camp some place within 
a few miles of the post. 

Mr. Levi Wilson, general superintendent of transportation at Fort 
Leavenworth, was the most efficient man I ever saw in the Government 
transportation line, but his services were required inspecting horses and 
mules from the middle of March to the last of May, 1858. 

I was notified to wind up the feeding business, and bring over mules 
from Platte the first of April, which I did. Three trains had been organized 
and camped in Salt Creek Valley. The news that many men would be 
needed brought them from every direction; some, enterprising young men 
from the country, ambitious to better their condition or work their way 
to the Pacific Coast; but there seemed an over-supply of the oflf-scour- 
ings of the slums men leaving their country for their country 's good. 
The variety and makeup of these fellows, many of them fleeing from 
justice, the arms they carried and their outfits generally, were curious 

I was instructed to take charge of the trains. Many complaints had 
come to Mr. Wilson against a train in the Valley, and he requested me 
to see to it and do whatever seemed best. I rode out and found a drunken 
mob mules scattered, harness in the mud, etc. The wagonmaster was 
asleep. A mouthy fellow called him "Captain," and he finally crawled 
out. In a few minutes I saw the utter uslessness of wasting, time. He 
had come with a railroad gang from North Missouri, the most blear-eyed, 
God-forsaken looking set I ever saw. I told him that he and his men were 
wanted at the quartermaster's office; that they should take all their be- 
were numerous, but I quietly cut them off, and in half an hour they were 
strung out, poor wretches, with the "Captain" in the lead. I promised 
to meet them at the quartermaster's office, and then rode down the creek 
a mile to another train, and asked the wagonmaster to give me his as- 
sistant, a fine young fellow (Green Dorsey), and loan me half of his men. 
With them I returned to the drunken train, told Dorsey to take charge as 
wagonmaster, hire any man that came who suited him, and I would send 
him more, but not to hire any of the old gang, and galloped to the post 
in time to see them paid off. It was remarked at the office that such an 
outfit had never before been seen there. I called the "Captain" and his 


them. One of these was Quantrill. He wore a flaming red 
woolen shirt, from which circumstance he was named "Red 
Shirt" by his companion herders, and he went by that name 
while in the service of Mr. Chiles. As Mr. Chiles was absent 
from home to be gone some weeks it was impossible to get 
further facts relating to the matter. Mr. Forbis could not 
recall the names of the two men hired with Quantrill.] 

longings with them, because they would not return to this train. Inquiries 
men aside and advised them to seek employment elsewhere; that they had 
mistaken their calling, and were unfit for the plains, and assured them 
that not one would ever find employment here. The rain and scarcity 
of whiskey had sobered them some, and they started for the Eialto Ferry 
and Weston. 

This incident spread among the trains and camps on the reservation, 
and I told every wagonmaster not to hire bad men we did not want to 
be bothered with them; and it was soon understood that thieves, thugs and 
worthless characters generally might as well move on. Many of these 
found employment in ox trains belonging to Government contractors, and 
were the cause of strikes, mutinies and loss to their employers. Of course, 
there was no civil law applicable to the management of men on the 
plains. In a military command the officer in charge was all-powerful, 
as he must be everywhere within his jurisdiction. Necessity knows no law, 
and while all well disposed men would perform their duties without fric- 
tion, the lawless element, sure to crop out from time to time, stood so 
much in awe of the military power that they did little harm to their 
fellows or the Government. Where there was no military command the 
same restraint did not exist, and discontented spirits, schemers and re- 
bellion breeders often caused trouble. ... I recall many instances of 
mutiny teamsters in rebellion against their wagonmasters, in some cases 
possibly with a grievance, and in others through homesickness or the 
spirit of rebellion that recognizes no authority, always ready to make 
trouble, delighting in the opportunity to become leaders for more pay, or 
to show their power when their services were most needed. . . . By the 
first of June more than six hundred six-mule teams, one-half of the mules 
never before handled, were organized into trains of about twenty-six wagons 
each, and about five hundred and fifty of them sent out with columns of 
troops en route to Utah. The whole months of April and May were ex- 
ceedingly wet, no bridges in the country, and to move the first one hun- 
dred and fifty miles west from Fort Leavenworth was something terrible. 



QUANTRILL taught one term of school in Kansas no 
more, no less. Vague and indefinite stories about Quan- 
trill as a Kansas teacher have been abroad for more than 
forty years. 1 Many of them are ridiculous. 

Some time after Quantrill returned to Stanton (he did not 
live at Osawatomie, but boarded at the house of Bennings) he 
decided to teach a school the following winter the winter of 
1859-1860. The neighbors had put up a rude log school-house 
in the Judge Roberts district. This school-house stood on the 
northwest corner of the southwest quarter of Section 33, Town- 
ship 17, Range 22, and almost half a mile from the Judge Rob- 
erts dwelling, which is yet standing in a good state of preserva- 
tion. The school-house was torn down long ago. It was heated 
by fires in an old fashioned fireplace. The furniture 
was primitive in the extreme, the seats being made by splitting 

i Andreas 1 's History of Kansas, p. 877, says: 

In the winter of 1857-58, he taught school in Judge Eoberts's dis- 
trict in Stanton township, and in the following spring went to Salt Lake 

On the same page Andreas has a letter written by Quantrill in his 
school-house, describing his school, and dated at Stanton, Kansas Territory, 
February 8, 1860. Andreas was usually accurate, and it is difficult to 
understand his carelessness in this instance. 

In a paper filed in the library of the Kansas State Historical Society, 
Mrs. Sarah T. D. Eobinson says: 

He taught two or three terms in the Stanton district and gave sat- 
isfaction to the patrons of the school. In the year 1858 he joined the 
John Brown band operating along the Kansas border living off their 
robberies in Missouri. 

He taught but one term, of six months. In 1858 he was in Utah and 
not with the John Brown band. Quantrill took no part in Kansas affairs 
until after John Brown had left the State, and very little until after 
John Brown was dead. But malice outruns truth, and in this case it refutes 
itself and becomes ridiculous. 


small logs and putting pegs in the round side of the slabs, and 
they were so high that, being without backs, it was very tire- 
some and uncomfortable to sit on them, especially for the chil- 
dren whose feet did not reach the floor. It was a subscription 
school a private school. The term was six months, divided 
into two sections of three months each for the purpose of com- 
puting the tuition, which was $2.50 per scholar for three months. 
It was the agreement that Quantrill was to "board around," 
remaining with each family or patron two weeks. But he re- 
mained with some longer than with others, being two months at 
the house of Judge Roberts. 3 

2 In a letter now in the Collection of the author, from Judge Thomas 
Roberts to H. V. Beeson, dated at Paola, May 16, 1881, Boberts says: 

In answer to your Enquiries of my acquaintance with Wm C. Quan- 
trell In reply would state that I became personally acquainted with him 
in the fall of 1858. He taught the School in my neighborhood the winter 
of 58 & 59 and boarded at my house about two months of that time, in 
the spring of 59 he left that neighborhood, afterwards I saw him in the 
early summer of 1861 he was confined in the County Jail of Miami 

The judge's memory was at fault as to the winter in which the 
school was taught. He could not have become acquainted with Quantrill 
in the fall of 1858, for Quantrill 's own letters show that he was at that 
time in Utah or on his way there, and that he was in Utah all of the 
winter of 1858-59, the time Judge Boberts says he was teaching school in 
his district. The judge puts the winter just a year too early, for Quan- 
trill taught in his district in the winter of 1859-1860, as he himself says 
and as his letters conclusively prove. 

On the 19th day of October, 1907, the author, in company with his 
friend of long standing, Major J. B. Bemington, of Osawatomie, and Mrs. 
Bemington, visited the people living in the vicinity of where Quantrill 
taught the school. Many people live there who as children attended that 
school, or as parents, patronized it. They all said he was a good teacher, 
and that he had no trouble whatever in his school. Among those who at- 
tended were Thomas F. Boberts and his wife, Boxey Troxel Boberts, 
George Hill Troxel, Harrison Troxel, George Shearer, H. Shearer, Delama 
Shearer, Belle Boberts, Eliza Boberts, Flora Boberts, Mark Updegraff, 
Augustus Updegraff, David Updegraff, Drusilla Updegraff, Mary Updegraff, 
Martha Updegraff, Elzena Williams, Amanda Williams, Jefferson Williams, 
Polk Williams, Boger Williams, Wesley Baker, Hester Baker, Adolphus T. 
Bennings, and James Bennings. 

William Stockwell did not attend the school, but he lived near it 
and had helped to build the school-house; he attended ''spelling-school" 
Friday nights. Mr. Stockwell came from Michigan to Osawatomie, and 


The first letter written by Quantrill after beginning his 
school, which has been preserved, was to his mother.s In it he 

took the claim on which he now lives on the 13th of March, 1857. He 
said that Quantrill talked for the Tree-State side but took no part in 
affairs while teaching; that he was very quiet; told of having been across 
the plains; dressed neatly, and seemed very particular and careful as to 
his dress; had peculiar eyes which were blue, though at times they were 
a strange undefinable color, and the upper lids had a queer look; complexion 
light ; hair light but not red not even a sandy color ; no beard ; no mus- 
tache; said Quantrill always stayed at the Bennings home Saturdays and 

Mrs. Eoxey Troxel Eoberts is the daughter of the late Frederick 
Troxel, a Kentuckian who moved to Illinois, then to Iowa, then to Kansas, 
Arriving in Osawatomie in 1855; owned a part of the land now owned by 
Major Remington, on which he lived when Quantrill taught the school; 
Quantrill boarded with him two weeks. She says Quantrill was a good 
teacher; had large light-blue eyes, a Eoman nose, light complexion, light 
hair. She spoke of his peculiar eyes, saying they were like no other eyes 
she ever say upper lids heavy. Says school began in the fall, rather 
late, and continued until the next spring; school-house heated by fireplace 
in which was kept a roaring fire; slabs for benches; Quantrill talked 
for the Free-State side, but so far as she ever heard he took no part in 
affairs; dressed neatly; stayed at Bennings 's Saturdays and Sundays; a 
very quiet man, secretive and peculiar ; "no one knew how to take him. ' ' 

The author talked with many others, and they all told practically the 
same story, agreeing with those given above. It was the opinion of all 
that Quantrill could not have been engaged while teaching in any of the 
raids into Missouri, for he was making his home with Bennings, a pro- 
slavery man and friend to the Missourians. They could not say as to 
the charge that he was acting as a "detective" for the Missourians and 
spying on the Kansas settlers during that period. 

In the letter written to W. W. Scott by H. V. Beeson, dated Paola, 
Kansas, June 5, 1880, Beeson says: 

He hung around Stanton some time [after he had been driven out of 
the camp at Tuscarora Lake by the Canal Dover young men for stealing] 
and then disappeared for some time and when he came Back he taught 
school in the neighborhood of Judge Roberts winter 1859, our Probate 
Judge, he stated to his Friends that he had been out west to Utah under 
Col or Gen Johnston (who was afterwards, if I am not mistaken, killed at 
Pittsburg Landing on the Rebel side) he also stated to me that he was 
Employed in the Quartermasters department, in Utah. 

It will be seen that Mr. Beeson has the correct date of Quantrill 's 
school-teaching. Also, that Quantrill lied to him about having been em- 
ployed in the department of the quartermaster; he was not so employed. 

3 Letter of W. C. Quantrill to his mother, now in the Collection of 
the author. It is quite well written. 


says that he had written a letter a short time before, sufficient 
time not having elapsed for an answer to arrive : 

Stanton, Kansas Terri. 

Jan. 26 th 1860. 
My Dear Mother. 

I again seat myself down to pen you a few lines, hoping 
that they may cheer you in a measure, and if so it is all I can 
do at this time. 

I have not yet received an answer to the one I wrote you 
before this, for the reason that it has not had time to reach here ; 
but I expect to have one by the time you receive this. 

In my last letter I said we had quite fine weather here ; but 
I can now look out of the window at my school-house and see 
every thing clad in snow & ice, which was put on but last night, 
and now seems to hold every thing in its cold embrace; indeed 
so sudden has been the change, that it seems not only to have 
caught the forest & prairie napping in the sunshine but the 
people also, for I feel it myself and seem to shudder when I look 
out upon the snowcovered ground, & hear the cold wind whistle 
around & through the forest; and it brings to my recollection 
scenes which I passed through in the mountains but a short time 
ago; it makes me think of what one of the party said; (a Ger- 
man,) when we were lost at night in the mountains, and he had 
looked in vain for the trail, he said, "well boys my heart is 
almost broke when I think that we may all die here tonight." We 
laughed at him then, (for we may as well laugh as cry at that 
time for neither done any good,) but when I have thought of it 
afterwards & could see what danger we had been exposed to, I 
feel thankful for having got off as well as I did. But I have 
slipped through it all comparatively easy and I now begin to 
realize my situation, and see how much easier I have been dealt 
with than most of my traveling companions were, and I often 
think that there must have been something else for me to do, 
that I was spared; for my companions were all strong healthy 
men & endured no more hardship than myself, still the greater 
part of them have seen their friends for the last time on this 
earth; all of this has had a tendency to rouse me & let me see 
what I have been doing. 

It is now noon and I again write, for I had to stop when it 
was time for school to begin. The weather has changed some 
little since, and ever and anon the sun bursts through the clouds, 
melting the snow on the roof, and causes the ice clad forest to 
sparkle & shine like silver, and the storm is gradually passing 
away, and it seems it has been only a frown which has passed 


over the heavens, which are now being lit up with glad smiles, 
and soon all will be pleasant again. And when I look out upon 
the snow it reminds me again of my mountain trip ; and the ex- 
cruciating pain we suffered from snowblindness, caused by look- 
ing all day on the bright snow; none of us were exempt from 
this, the sensation is that of having your eyes badly smoked, 
which lasted for several days, the eyes become inflamed & swol- 
len causing very much pain. 

There is no news now I believe at present, all is peace and 
quietness in the country, and all seems to move on smoothly, 
but times are hard, and the people complain of the taxes which 
they have to pay, and indeed they are enormous for such a new 
country, and under the present form of government are not apt 
to cease. 

You have undoubtedly heard of the wrongs committed in 
this territory by the southern people, or proslavery party, but 
when one once knows the facts they can easily see that it has 
been the opposite party that have been the main movers in the 
troubles & by far the most lawless set of people in the country. 
They all sympathize for old J. Brown, who should have been 
hung years ago, indeed hanging was too good for him. May I 
never see a more contemptible people than those who sympathize 
for him. A murderer and a robber, made a martyr of; just 
think of it. 

When you write let me know all that you have time to write 
about, for I feel anxious to know something about home and the 
village of my boyhood more than I have been heretofore and I 
cannot really say why it is so, but I think of it more, and have 
lately visited it in my dreams, which was quite rare before; it 
may be because my mind has become more settled, and my mind 
must be employed in some way, and I suppose that is the most 
natural. I wish to know all that has happened of note lately, 
and I would like well to be there and I think I will be, (if I 
live) in the course of the summer. At least I have made up my 
mind to that point I suppose all the people about there think I 
am never coming back again, and that also that I have done 
wrong in going away at all; this I will acknowledge, but who 
could have made me believe it at that time, I think no one, for 
my brain ran so with wild thoughts that I was blind to every 
thing else. I think that I am not the only one, of that failing ; 
only it has, probably been carried to a greater extent in my case 
than others, and my situation has been different from theirs. 

Though I have been quite foolish in my notions of the last 
three or four years, still I have been taught many a good lesson 
by them, and think I shall not regret it in after life so much 
as I do now, for it is now that I feel it the keenest, and can see 


the whole picture of my doings in one broad sheet, which may 
be rolled up and laid by to look upon in after life. I have seen 
a little of the world I know how others manage to keep moving 
in the vast crowd which is moving ahead ; I have seen the means 
used by different communities to keep body and soul together, 
I have compared them with each other and find in the end they 
all amount to the same, with only this difference, that their situ- 
ations are different, and the ends accomplished are adapted to 
their situations, this (is all) a good comfortable living, which 
any person of good health & mind can procure in any country 
for theirself and two or three others & still have plenty of time 
for amusement ; and this is all we can have in this world. 

Well I must bid you good by; for my sheet is about full, 
and when I receive an answer to my first one I will write again, 
Hoping that this may find you and all in fine health as the 

writer is. My love to you all 

Your Son 
W. C. Quantrill, 


Here is the first evidence that Quantrill was changing polit- 
ical faith. In his letter written two years before from Tuscarora 
Lake he said every Missourian should have been shot and that 
all Democrats were rascals. His association with the rough 
characters following in the wake of the army across the Plains, 
most of them from Missouri, had wrought the change. The in- 
fluence he was under at the home of Bennings was bearing fruit. 
Those now living, who knew him while teaching, say he talked 
in favor of the Free-State people. But he was at that very 
time, as this letter conclusively proves, secretly against them 
and had gone over to their enemies. He was, among them, a 
wolf in sheep's clothing, a hypocrite, a spy, a traitor. This let- 
ter is the explanation of the actions of all his subsequent life. 
He lived nearly a year longer in Kansas, but he had made up his 
mind to cast his lot with the enemies of Kansas. There may 
have been times in his life of crime the remainder of 
his days in Kansas when he had thoughts of remaining, but they 
were fleeting if he had them. He had deliberately made up his 
mind to go over to the Missourians, and the time he remained in 
Kansas was spent in seeking an opportunity to do Kansas as 
much injury as possible in making the change. For a year he 


lived a border-ruffian in Kansas, false to every associate, to every 
principle he professed. And it is well to remember that he had 
no cause from any settler of Kansas to make this change. The 
settlers had been lenient with him and borne with him in his 
crimes, not even arresting him for any of them. Only a man 
who has reached the depths of moral degradation is capable of 
such action capable of such a life. 

And the friends of John Brown should be glad that this 
letter has been preserved. No man has been so persistently 
slandered and traduced as has John Brown in recent years by 
those jealous of the place he made for himself in history, es- 
pecially in Kansas history. Petty and insignificant souls, dol- 
lar-bent, saw a great commonwealth rise here upon the broadest 
possible foundation of liberty, to which they contributed little. 
It grew in spite of the frenzied finance they practiced in the 
administration of its revenues. Some of the loot so obtained has 
been used to hire unprincipled characters to write coarse and 
vulgar slanders of John Brown. Other sources having been 
exhausted without effect, they have recently asserted that 
Quantrill and John Brown operated together in Kansas. True, 
there was never a syllable of authority for such assertion, but 
slander is never based on any authority. 

This is a good place to state the facts in this matter. Quan- 
trill came to Kansas in the spring of 1857. Then the most im- 
portant events of the Territorial troubles were passed. The 
Wakarusa War, the sacking of Lawrence, the battle of Black 
Jack, the battle of Osawatomie, the killing of Dutch Bill and 
his dupes on the Pottawatomie all these had occurred before 
Quantrill came to Kansas. From the time of his coming in 1857 
to the time he was driven from the camp at Tuscarora Lake 
certainly the most bitter -enemy of John Brown would not say 
that they had acted together. In the spring of 1858 Quantrill 
went to Utah and did not return until the last of July, 1859. 
John Brown had been gone from Kansas six months when 
Quantrill came back to Kansas. Brown was in Virginia, and he 
never returned to Kansas. And his men were with him. The 
only time John Brown and Quantrill were in Kansas at the 
same time was in November, 1857, and then for less than a month. 


Brown was at Lawrence and Topeka. He had come to take his 
men out to have them drilled for the Virginia campaign. It is 
safe to say that Quantrill never saw John Brown never saw 
any of John Brown's men, and that neither Brown nor a single 
one of his men ever saw Quantrill. Because of the action of 
Forbes, John Brown had to postpone his Virginia campaign a 
year, and he returned to Kansas, arriving at Lawrence on the 
25th of June, 1858. -Reference to P. G. Lowe's excellent work, 
Five Tears a Dragoon, will show that all the trains had left 
Fort Leavenworth for Utah long before the arrival of John 
Brown in Kansas in 1858, and as Quantrill went out with one 
of these trains, it is impossible that he saw Brown at that time. 
The few days that John Brown and Quantrill were even in Kan- 
sas Territory at the same time was in November, 1857, and 
Quantrill was then a petty thief stealing provisions from his 
comrades at Tuscarora Lake. 

Quan trill's best letters were written while teaching this 
term of school in Kansas. On the 8th of February he wrote a 
long letter to his mother.* He was in a pensive mood at the 
time. Perhaps if he could have reformed without effort by 
some miracle in the execution of which he had no part, he would 
have welcomed the change. Man is cursed with such repentance 
as that. He sees the gleaming mountain-tops of a better land 
and longs to enter an ideal life there, but the call back to life 
as it is and has been breaks the spell. Strength to rouse from 
the lethargy of the old life and turn about and flee from it as 
from very death to the hills from whence cometh help is want- 
ing. The better self is called back and stifled. The old burden 
is taken up to be borne by stumbling feet over sinks and quag- 
mires while anxious eyes behold the star of hope fall below the 
rugged line of the dark mountain to be replaced by ignis-fatui 
kindled of vanities and temptations by the devil: 

4 The original of this letter is lost. It is published in Andreas 's 
History of Kansas, as a part of the history of Miami county. There is 
a copy of the letter in the Collection of the author, also the correspondence 
between Andreas and W. W. Scott leading up to its publication. As pub- 
lished, it would seem that there were omissions made by the printer, but 
the copy made by Scott corresponds with the letter as published. 


Stanton, Kansas Territory, 

Feb. 8, 1860 
My Dear Mother. 

It is a pleasant morning, this ; the sun is just rising, its light 
causing the trees, bushes and grass to glitter like brilliants, 
while the hanging sheets of frost drop from them, announcing 
his warmth, then silently melting away. I stood in my school- 
house door, and viewing this it made me feel a new life, and 
merry as the birds. But these feelings and thoughts are soon 
changed and forgotten, by the arrival of eight or ten of my 
scholars, who come laughing and tripping along as though their 
lives would always be like this beautiful morning, calm and 
serene. And I wish that I could always be as these children. 
But I have been so no doubt, and I have no reason to expect it 
a second time. Every year brings its changes and no two are 

School is now closed for the day, and I am again left alone 
with my thoughts. I am thinking of home and all the happy 
days I spent there ; and then of the unhappy days I have spent 
since and those you have spent. In a few days it will be three 
years, though it only seems like a few months. The sun is shed- 
ding its last rays, and the chill air of evening still declares that 
summer has not yet arrived. Every now and then a blast from 
the north holds all nature in check, in spite of the warming in- 
fluences of the sun to revive it. 

How different now to me it is from one year ago, when I 
was amidst the snow covered mountains of Utah. It seemed that 
a summer of sunshine would not be sufficient to break the icy 
fetters of winter. We should have died of ennui in the Mormon 
society if it had not been for the excitement attendant upon a 
camp of soldiers. 

You perceive, I suppose, that I am writing at different 
times between my school hours, which causes my letter to be 
somewhat broken. 

It is now noon, and the sun shines warm, with a pleasant 
south wind ; and my scholars are enjoying themselves as scholars 
did when I was one. And they, like all children, are enjoying 
more happiness now than they will at any other period of their 
lives. I sometimes wish that I was again a scholar in the old 
brick schoolhouse at Dover; and again with my companions on 
the playground. But scholars and companions are all far from 
me now, and I am left alone to contemplate. It all seems to me 
but a dream, a very little of which I ever realized ; or, more like 
a sheet of paper on the first page of which there are a few signs, 
showing that something has been commenced, and then all the 
rest left blank, telling you not what was the purpose of the 


writer, and leaving you to surmise; though if it had been con- 
tinued it might have been of benefit to some one. Thus my mind 
is ever recalling the past, and my conscience tells me that if 
something noble is not done in the future to fill up this blank, 
then it had better be destroyed, so that none may take it for an 

But as this is leap year, I think it advisable for those who 
intend to turn over a new leaf, to take their leap with the year, 
and then keep moving with it, and then probably they may have 
something more than a blank. I think I can insure it if there 
is a firm resolution. 

I can now see more clearly than ever in my life before, that 
I have been striving and working really without any end in 
view. And now since I am satisfied that such a course must end 
in nothing, it must be changed, and that soon, or it will be too 
late. All the benefit that I can see I have derived from my past 
course, is that I have improved my health materially, which was 
none of the best when I came here. I have also learned to do 
almost any kind of outdoor work, which experience will serve 
in future to preserve my health, and also enable me to get along 
much better than if I was only fitted for the schoolroom or other 
indoor business. 

When my school is finished, I will be able to tell you better 
what my plans are for the coming year. One thing is certain: 
I am done roving around seeking a fortune, for I have found 
where it may be obtained by being steady and industrious. And 
now that I have sown wild oats so long, I think it is time to be- 
gin harvesting; which will only be accomplished by putting in 
a different crop in different soil. 

There is no news here but hard times, and harder still com- 
ing, for I see their shadows; and "coming events cast their 
shadows before," is an old proverb. But I do not fear that my 
destiny is fixed in this country, nor do I wish to be compelled 
to stay in it any longer than possible, for the devil has got un- 
limited sway over this territory, and will hold it until we have 
a better set of men and society generally. The only cry is, 
"What is best for ourselves and our dear friends." 

I suppose Dover has changed a great deal since I was there, 
but not more than I have, and probably not as much ; for I think 
there are few there who would know me if I were to come un- 
expectedly. I suppose the boys have grown to be almost men, 
and likely I should hardly recognize them if I were to see them 
any place but at home. Well, surely I have changed around 
a great deal in the last three years, and have seen a great many 
people and countries, and enough incidents to make a novel of 


When I get a letter from you, and some of the others, I will 
write again, but now I must close, by hoping that this bit of 
scribbling may find you in as good health as the one who is 
writing. My love to you all, and respects to those who inquire 
of me. Your Son, 

W. C. Quantrill. 
To Mrs. Caroline Quantrill, 

Dover, Tuscarawas County Ohio. 

These sentiments appear all through the letters written by 
Quantrill while teaching in Kansas. The journey across the 
Plains comes up before him. There is no doubt but that he 
stood in the very presence of death in those stormy days. Per- 
haps memories came to him which he bid depart memories in 
the presence of which he stood aghast, memories which would 
fade away only when overwhelmed and crushed by some act 
far exceeding in ferocity and wickedness that from which they 
sprang. What a flood engulfs him with bloody hands and a 
mind demoralized! A man may ride such a tide as it roars 
through gorges over sunken rocks, but he is flung at last into that 
black lake where he shall cry out for death and it will mock him 
and flee far away. 

The next letter of Quantrill was written to his sister Mary. 
She was visiting her grandfather Quantrill in Washington City.s 
By all accounts she was a sweet good girl upon whose life there 
dawned no hope of higher things in this world than she found 
within the walls of the poor cottage of her mother. She did the 
lowly duties of the life of a sewing-girl to get bread for those 
she loved. She wasted with consumption, but no complaint rose 
to her lips. She sang "The Song of the Shirt" nightly, but no 
bitterness entered her heart. How unworthy are the best of 
men of the love of a good woman! How shall we express the 
base ingratitude, the utter unworthiness of Quantrill of the 
lovely life of his sister Mary, whose name he blackened by his 
inhuman crimes! 

Stanton, Kansas T. Mar 23, 1860. 
My dear Sister. 

I received your kind letter on the 17th, with much pleasure 

5 The original of this letter is lost. "W. W. Scott made a copy of it 
and this copy is in the Collection of the author. 


& not a little surprise. I am glad to hear that you are well and 
in such good spirits, for then I know you are happy. You say 
you like to live in the city [Washington, where she was on a 
visit], and that you have enjoyed yourself very much since you 
have been there. Then you have surpassed me, for I have not 
enjoyed myself much or felt very happy since I left home; for 
happiness depends on contentment, and that has not fell to my 
lot, and it seems to me never will. 

I would like very much to see you and the rest of the fam- 
ily, and I will (if I keep my health and have no bad luck) some- 
time this summer. The weather is very fine here, and has been 
for the last month, causing the flowers to spring up and the 
grass to carpet the prairie in green; also causing the forest to 
be set with green sheets, soon to form a screen for the merry 
songsters and shelter them from the noonday sun of midsummer. 
The pleasant whistle of the Bob "White and red bird, have 
caused the plowboy to join in with them while he turns over the 
warm soil, for the reception of the golden seed. What a con- 
trast! One year ago I was amid snow and desolation in the 
Rocky Mountains, where nothing was to be seen but snow & sky ; 
no signs of life except in our little company. Some of us strove 
to be merry, & occasionally would start some song, which would 
be broken off by some one calling for help to get some poor ani- 
mal out of the snow. Or by the time one verse would be sung 
then his merriment would be ended. But when night came and 
we were about to lie down to rest, and nothing but the snow to 
make a bed upon, it was enough to make any one have cool 

You people of the crowded city can form no idea of what 
men go through & how they have to struggle to keep from the 
grasp of grim death, which apparently stares them in the face 
as they move along. 

I will give you a little sketch of myself as I appeared in 
camp, and the way we passed our time. My dress consisted of 
a complete suit of buckskin ; pants, coat, moccasins, a red wool- 
len shirt, a fur cap, a large leather belt in which is a large 
pistol and knife ; and then mounted on an Indian pony, with my 
rifle laying across the saddle, ready for use in a moment's warn- 
ing. We look rough enough, for we do not shave or cut our hair, 
and to a person not used to such sights, we look like ruffians. 
When we camped, & the horses and mules were turned out to 
graze, and one or two of the company to watch them while the 
rest attended to camp, make a fire, bring water and cook our 
camp meal, which is composed of biscuit or cakes, coffee, and ven- 


ison or buffalo steak; and sometimes by way of a treat, some 
bacon, and beans, usually on Sunday ; and occasionally a grouse 
or rabbit or duck, & then to finish with, a relish for this never 
felt by those of the city or town. After supper the animals 
were brought to camp and picketed close by; we spread our 
blankets on the ground and with the heavens for a canopy & 
the howling of the wolves we are lulled to sleep with more sat- 
isfaction than I ever felt any place else. Some watch while the 
others sleep, & by sunrise the next morning we are again on the 

You think this is quite an unpleasant way to spend time, 
but we can see some pleasure, but persons not acquainted with 
euch times cannot realize that there can be any satisfaction at all. 
There are hundreds of persons going to the gold regions this 
spring again ; but I shall not go for I want to come home and see 
the folks once more any how. I suppose you will be at home 
when I get there, and then we will all be together again, if we 
live. Tell Thomas Leckron that I would like to see him, and 
maybe he would like to come and see some of the West after 
seeing so much of the East. If I knew his directions I would 
write to him and also to Grandfather. 

You will perceive this letter has not all been written on the 
same day, for I write before and after school occasionally, and 
therefore it will appear somewhat broken. You say you are 
glad that I am not married ; but I might take a notion to bring 
some pretty Kansas girl along home when I come, and let you 
see that there are a few pretty ones here as well as there. I 
have a couple of interesting ladies coming to school now. I have 
seen a great many pretty girls since I have been away from 
home, and have had considerable sport sometimes; but as to 
marrying any of them, I have not had any serious thoughts yet. 

I suppose a good many girls of Dover have been married 
since I left, and all of the small ones have grown up to be young 
ladies. I expect Dover and the people have changed a great 
deal since I was there, but not more than I have. 

I wonder if the weather is as fine with you as it is here, for 
it is most delightful here. The prairie looks as green and fresh, 
and then so many flowers peeping up as though half afraid Jack 
Frost was somewhere near. And then the songs of so many 
merry little birds make one wish he were as happy as all around 
him ; but that cannot be ; as this earth is not a heaven for man ; 
for we at the happiest day feel a burden of sorrow which we 
cannot throw off here. I will put a couple of flowers in this 
letter that you may see some of the beauties of Kansas. And now 


I must close my letter, hoping that it may find you and all in as 
good health as myself. Give my love to all, and a kiss for your- 

Your Brother. 

W. C. Quantrill 
Direct your answer 
to Lawrence 

K T. 

When Quantrill wrote the next letter to his mother he stood 
on the threshold of a new era in his life. This period was to be 
brief to continue less than a year. He declared that he had 
determined to rove no more, but it is not certain that he did not 
return immediately to the Pike's Peak gold region, nor is it 
known positively that he did so. 6 

6 There is some evidence that Quantrill crossed the Plains twice. If 
so, he set out on his second trip immediately after his school closed. For 
he certainly did not return to Kansas before going into the gold region 
after his trip to Utah, but went with a party from Utah to the Pike's Peak 
region, and from there he returned to Kansas in the summer of 1859. 

The following postal card, written by James Hanway to W. W. Scott, 
would seem to be conclusive evidence that Quantrill crossed the Plains 
twice : 

Lane, Franklin Co. Kansas April 13, 1879 
Dear Sir 

Yesterday I came across a man of the name of Adolphus Y. Bennings, 
Lane P office, who crossed the Plains twice with Quantrill & he tells me 
that Q boarded at his fathers house, near Stanton, Miami Co after 
Q had left Beesons & Torrey and he was with Quantrill after the 
Walker affair and was arrested & placed in the Paola Jail He evidently 
could give you some incidents about Q life in Kansas. But there may 
be some difficulty in opening up a correspondence with him He is a poor 
scribe, & has evidently been a pro-slavery man, at the time of the troubles. 
He says he will propound any questions you may ask better send him a 
letter He has moved from Stanton & now lives a few miles from Lane 

James Hanway. 

This card is in the Collection of the author. It is addressed to 
"Mr. W. W. Scott 

"Canal Dover 


The postmark is as follows: "Lane, Franklin County, Kansas. D. 
L. Welsh, P. M." 

There is a letter in the Collection of the author, from Colonel Sam 
Walker, of Lawrence, saying that if Quantrill went out with the Parsons 
party, which left Lawrence May 21, 1858, he had not known it until he 
received Scott's letter. An account of the trip made by that party is 
given by William B. Parsons, a member of it, in The Kansas Magazine, 


During the time he was teaching, if there is any reliance to 
be placed in what he wrote to his mother, he had seen a kindly 
hand beckon him to a new life and felt inclined to follow in the 
hope that he might find there a remedy for his unhappiness. 
But, in the light of his later course and actions, what he wrote 
to his mother must be taken with great allowance; for, in Kan- 
sas he lived one life and wrote his mother of one he did not live. 
By his letters she was to see that he was a poor, meek boy strug- 
gling to get board and clothing. That was to avoid sending her 
any assistance, if his after life is to be considered. He was in 
fact a thief from the first in Kansas, and long before he wrote 
these poetic letters to his mother and sister he was a wild and 
reckless gambler. The letters bear an air of insincerity and dis- 
simulation. He wrote " against time," filling his letters with 
sentiments about spring and flowers abstract flights of fancy 
and stories of discontent and unhappiness, never asking how his 
mother was managing to live and support his brothers and sis- 
ters, never sending her aid, but always talking of the ideal 
climate, the green prairies and forests, the merry songsters, the 
whistling of the Bob "White (in March), and harping about his 
disquieting state of mind. In his letters he was Dr. Jekyl; in 
Kansas he was Mr. Hyde. 

Quantrill had sown the wind. If any better things had ap- 
pealed to him he turned away and set his face hard against 
them. His decision was finally reached, his mind made up. The 
die was cast, and he told his mother to direct her letters to 
Lawrence. He would continue to sow the wind. 

Stanton. Kansas. 

Mar. 25 th . 1860 
My Dear Mother. 

I again seat myself to write you a few words to let you 
know that I am still among the living and healthy for this coun- 

Vol. I, p. 552, et seq. If Quantrill went out with that party he did not 
return with it, but fell in with the trains going to Utah and went on to 
that country. It is very improbable that he went with that party. It 
is almost a certainty that he went to Fort Leavenworth and started from 
that point to Utah. 

Scott must have believed that the Lawrence party left for Pike's 
Peak in the spring of 1860 two years later than it actually did leave. 


try; and if these few words find you in the same situation will 
be all I can wish for at present. I have not received an answer 
to my last letter yet; although I received one from Mary two 
weeks ago; and answered it last week. She said she was enjoy- 
ing good health, and passing her time quite pleasantly. 

The weather is quite pleasant here, and has been for a 
month back. The prairie has a carpet of green, variegated with 
innumerable flowers, peeping half afraid through the green 
blades as though they were afraid of Jack Frost, but they show 
a change from the cold frown of winter to the glad smiles of 
spring. The forests too show a change, for every branch is set 
with shoots of tender green, soon to screen the earth's naked 
breast and afford a shelter from the noonday sun for the merry 
songsters now congregating there; and hailing the golden sun 
with their joyous notes, as he shows himself on the distant 
prairie, and continuing their songs the livelong day, delighting 
the ears of the woodsman & inspiring new life in the emigrant; 
for the nights are cool and put somewhat of a damper on their 
spirits ; for you must know these people have to be exposed, and 
therefore cannot realize the return of spring, as we who are situ- 
ated comfortably. And then the crowing of the grouse, the 
whistle of the Bob White, enliven the farmer & he joins with 
them as he turns over the rich loose soil, from which he is to 
reap his harvest for the support of his family. Every thing, 
and every body around me seems to be happy ; but I am not be- 
cause I am not contented & there lies the chief source of happi- 
ness on this earth. As I sit in my schoolroom and contemplate 
these scenes, in their beauty; I cannot but contrast them with 
the scenes of a twelve month ago, when all around me was deso- 
lation, nothing to be seen but snow and sky; and no animated 
objects but our little company, and they struggling hard to be 
merry and full of joy ; but still little more life remained than in 
the huge drifts of snow around us ; but every thing here appears 
rife with life, the forests, the prairies the river and lakes, and 
the air, all teeming with animation or imparting it to surround- 
ing objects causing the husbandman, the mechanic, the merchant, 
and all mankind, to have fine dreams of the future, and building 
up their prospects on what they seem to see in the future. I 
think every thing and every body around me is happy and I 
alone am miserable, it seems man is doomed to aspire after hap- 
piness; but never in reality to obtain it; for God intended that 
this earth should ~be earth and not heaven for mortal man. 

How I would like to be in Dover again and once again to 
see the scenes and to call up recollections of the past, in my 
happy schoolboy days. And then to visit the old school house, 
the playing ground; and most of all my own dear home and its 


occupants, then at least for a short time I would be happy as 
also those around me. I should hardly know some of the places 
about there; and people; and I doubt if there is any one there 
would know me now if I were to arrive there or meet any one 
of them here, well I will put it to a test this summer; and then 
I shall know for myself. Now do not think that I will disappoint 
you in coming home, for if I keep my health I will be there as 
soon as possible. But it will not be before the middle of the sum- 
mer. I would like to know that ladie's name you have picked 
out for me for I am afraid some of the ladies here will win my 
affections unless I have some one else to guard them for me. 
But do not be alarmed about my getting married soon, unless 
something turns up favorable beyond expectation. You must 
excuse this short letter for I have had no answer to my last one 
and I hardly know what to write about. I must close. My 
school will be out in a few days; and the next letter you write 
you may direct it to Lawrence. Give my love to all and a kiss 
for yourself. Good by 

[Your son 

W. C. Quantrill.] 7 

7 This letter is in the Collection of the author. The signature is cut 
off, which was done by W. W. Scott, as is shown by his writing in copying 
in the sentences cut away with the signature. He probably sent the signa- 
ture to some newspaper with an article on Quantrill. The penmanship of 
the letter is delicate and good. 



QUANTRILL must have gone to Lawrence immediately 
after his school closed. On the 25th of March, 1860, he 
wrote his mother that his school would close in a few 
days, directing her to address him at Lawrence. He must have 
gone early in April. He remained in the vicinity of Lawrence,, 
making that his home, or "headquarters," until the following 
December. 1 

i Henry 8. Clarke, of Lawrence (died about January 1, 1908), says 
in an article written for the Kansas Historical Society, published in the 
Seventh Volume of the Collections of the Society, that he saw Quantrill at 
Lawrence first in June, 1858. Mr. Clarke was mistaken as to the year. 
In June, 1858, Quantrill was at Fort Bridger, as the letter of E. M. Peck, 
Whittier, California, dated December 28, 1907, and in the Collection of 
the author, says. Mr. Peck saw him there at that time and describes 
his reckless gambling in the camp at that place. It was evidently in 1859 
that Mr. Clarke first saw Quantrill at Lawrence, for he says that Quantril) 
then told him of having been to Utah "as a teamster with a government 
expedition against the Mormons; that the weather turned bad and the 
expedition wintered at Fort Bridger; that when the grass started in the 
spring he started back East, as he did not like the job." 

This is important, as it shows that Quantrill got back to Lawrence 
from the Utah and Pike's Peak expedition in June, 1859, though he did 
not write to his mother until July 30, 1859. See his letter, ante, page 81. 
The scene described by Quantrill in that letter, of his partner having been 
shot, and which Scott says was the foundation for the lying account told 
by him to the Missourians at Morgan Walker's, was probably wholly un- 
true. It was suggested, in all probability, by the occurrence described 
by Mr. Clarke, though it was in 1859 instead of 1858, as Mr. Clarke has it: 

My first real acquaintance with him was on the 4th day of July, 1858. 
The people of Lawrence held a celebration on that day across the Kansas 
river on the Delaware reserve. John C. Vaughan, then living at Leaven- 
worth, came over and made the address of the day. While the Judge 
was speaking, there was an outcry a little distance off in the brush, and 


When Quantrill returned from Pike's Peak to Lawrence 
(in 1859) he went to live with the Delaware Indians, in their 
Reservation on the north side of the Kansas river, and which ex- 
tended up the river to the west of Lawrence. As he had an ac- 
quaintance with the Indians as the result of his previous resi- 
dence among them, he went there to live at the expiration of his 
school, and this acquaintanceship may have been the sole cause 
of his going to Lawrence to live in the spring of I860. 2 

Quantrill made his home with John Sarcoxie, son of Sar- 
coxie, chief of the Delawares. John Sarcoxie lived on Mud 
creek, about four miles northeast of Lawrence. Quantrill had no 
occupation among the Delawares, and he did not work at any 
thing while he lived with them. He told other people that he 
was the detective for the Delaware Nation. He spent his time 
riding about the country mounted on an Indian pony, often vis- 
iting Lawrence. He soon began to frequent the north ferry 
landing. The ferry was established by John Baldwin and was 
the first ferry at Lawrence. In the spring of 1860 it was still 

several of us ran out to see the cause. There we found a white man lying 
on the ground in an unconscious condition, with his head badly cut and 
hacked up by an Indian tomahawk, apparently. Quantrell was one of the 
first to arrive on the spot. He said he knew the Indian who committed 
the assault, and went on to say that the man had enticed the Indian's 
wife away, and this was done for revenge. Quantrell assisted for an hour 
or more in caring for the man, while the doctor was giving restoratives, 
dressing the wounds, etc., during which time he told me that he started 
for Salt Lake the fall before as a teamster with a government expedition 
against the Mormons. . . . He also went on to say that he was living at 
that time with Henry Bascom, a Delaware Indian, out about three miles 
from Lawrence. Later in the summer I saw him again, and he said he 
was living with George Sarcoxie, another Delaware Indian, about five miles 
out from Lawrence, on the reserve. 

In a letter written by Mr. Clarke to W. W. Scott, dated Lawrence, 
Kansas, April 7, 1898, now in the Collection of the author, he says: 

1 think the first I saw of Quantrell was in 1859. He claimed, at 
that time, to have been across the plains with an army supply train, that 
accompanied the government expedition against the Mormons just previous 
to that time. I think he claimed to have driven a team for the govern- 
ment on that expedition. 

2 S. S. Herd, of Lawrence, knew Quantrill during his residence there. 
In a long statement to the author, made November 4, 1907, Mr. Herd says 
Quantrill made his appearance at Lawrence about the middle of April or 
first of May, 1860, coming from the Indian settlements in the Delaware 
Eeserve, where he then lived. The statement is in the Collection of the 


owned by Baldwin and operated by his nephew John Baldwin 
and S. S. Herd, whom he employed for that purpose. Quantrill 
would make his appearance at the north landing about nine in 
the morning. He would hitch the pony in the brush and then 
go down to the landing; and he usually remained there until 
near night, when he would remount the pony and return to the 
home of Sarcoxie. 

The ferry was the loafmg-place of a very disreputable gang 
of border-ruffians. They were thieves, murderers, kidnappers, 
negro-stealers. Most of them lived about Lawrence, and they 
were in close communication with the ruffians who lived in Mis- 
souri and raided the Free-State settlements of Kansas, which 
circumstance did not prevent the Kansas ruffian from invading 
and plundering Missouri. Among these lawless characters were 
the McGees, who came to Kansas from Pennsylvania. There were 
Old Man McGee and his two sons, Jacob and Thomas, called 
Jake and Tom. There was a cousin to these, a very hard char- 
acter, who, because of the marital calamity which befell him very 
frequently, was called "Cuckold Tom" McGee. The McGees 
had a claim on the Kansas river about two miles east of Law- 
rence, in the timber, surrounded by almost impenetrable brakes 
and thickets; and, in a little clearing they had there, they had 
built a cabin in which they lived. Living with them was another 
cousin, named Henry McLaughlin, of character equally base and 
vicious. A constant associate of these men was Esau Sager, a 
border-ruffian, and as tough a character as lived in Kansas Ter- 
ritory. There were Jack Elliott, John Stropp, Jay Vince, and 
Frank Baldwin, all of whom would make raids into Missouri to 
get slaves or live stock, kidnap a free negro in Kansas, or plun- 
der people of property anywhere.3 They acted with the pro- 

3 G. W. W. Yates, Topeka, Kansas, is the son of the late William 
Yates, one of the first settlers of Douglas county, Kansas. William Yates 
was the captain of one of the Free-State companies in Territorial times. 
In his company were Jake McGee and Tom McGee. So, it seems that the 
McGees were playing a double game, aiding both the Free-State and pro- 
slavery sides. Their attitude may have suggested that course to Quantrill. 
G. W. W. Yates was a boy in Territorial days, and can scarcely believe 
that the McGees were so bad. He did not know they had acted with the 
border-ruffians. Colonel O. E. Learnard, an early settler at Lawrence, told 


slavery party in Kansas and rejoiced in turmoil and anarchy. 
The above list is by no means complete ; there were many others. 
All these were in a slight degree subject to Jacob or "Jake" 
Herd. Herd was the terror of the Free-State people, and he 
gloried in the name, "Jake Herd, the Border-Ruffian." He 
waylaid and captured Dr. John Doy and his party on the 
"underground railway" in 1859, and carried them to Platte 
City, Mo., and cast them into jail. He was at the head of the 
lawless bands inhabiting the regions about Lawrence tough 
citizens, border-ruffians, thieves, highway robbers, kidnappers, 
drunken carousers, rioters, brawlers, reckless of human life.* 

the author that there were worse characters in Kansas than the McGees, 
and that the McGees had served under him in the service of the Free-State 

The author would not knowingly place any one in a wrong light. He 
wishes to be perfectly fair, and state facts only. The information here 
set out was secured from 8. S. Herd, H. S. Clarke, and others, and is 
believed to be reliable and accurate. 

4 Herd's father came to Kansas from Pennsylvania about 1855 and 
settled with his family about four miles southeast of Lecompton. There 
is a biographical sketch of Sidney S. Herd in the Seventh Volume of the 
Kansas Historical Collections; he is now a well-to-do and respected citizen 
of Lawrence. He served throughout the Civil War in the Union army, and 
he was a gallant soldier. Jake Herd soon became notorious for his devotion 
to the cause of the rough element which invaded Kansas from Missouri 
from political motives and for the purpose of plunder. He was not in 
favor of a "free white state," as has been claimed, but was a partisan of 
the pro-slavery element which had its root in the Blue Lodges in Missouri. 
He was a kidnapper of free negroes who came to Kansas, selling them 
"down South," and many crimes were laid at his door. But having the 
protection of the Federal government, he escaped the consequences of his 
crimes. As showing the character of the times and the part played in 
them by Jake Herd, see the little book written by Dr. John Doy, the state- 
ments in which no attempt was ever made to refute, and from which the 
following quotation is made: 

During the winter of 1858-9, several attempts were made by a gang 
of unprincipled fellows, living in and around Lawrence and Lecompton, to 
kidnap a number of colored persons from the city of Lawrence and its 
neighborhood, with the intention of selling them into slavery in Missouri. 

The first attempt discovered, was made upon Charles Fisher, a light 
mulatto, who kept a barber's shop in Lawrence. He was seized and put 
into a carriage; jumping out was chased and shot at, but managed to evade 
the ruffians. On the next evening, another colored man, William Kiley, 
was seized and carried off; but he, also, succeeded in escaping from the 
room in which he was bound and confined, in the house of a man named 


These were the acquaintances made by Quantrill at the 
ferry. He would sport with them on the broad sand-bars, run- 
ning foot-races, jumping, wrestling, drinking occasionally, shoot- 
ing, gambling. In a short time he was regarded as one of the 
gang and began to cross the river, spending some of his time at 

Corel, about two miles from Lawrence, and got back to that "city of 
refuge. ' ' 

Much feeling was excited among the citizens by these attempts, and 
two men named Fry and GOBS, the former an old resident of Lawrence, the 
latter a stranger, were arrested and examined before a justice of the Peace, 
upon the charge of kidnapping. Sufficient proof of their complicity was 
shown, to cause them to be committed to answer at the U. 8. District 
Court, but they were released under a writ of habaes corpus, issued by 
Judge Elmore, an appointee of the Administration, and the largest slave 
holder in Kansas. This was in October, 1858. . . . During the Autumn 
and Winter, the attempts at kidnapping became more and more frequent, 
and were sometimes successful. At last the colored people in Lawrence, 
finding themselves in constant danger, applied to the citizens for protection. 
In consequence of this application, a meeting was held in the Court House, 
on or about the 18th of January, 1859, to take the matter into consideration. 
As no adequate protection against the insidious attempts of the kidnappers 
could be assured to the colored people if they remained in Lawrence, a 
removal to Iowa was agreed upon, and some money raised to defray the 

I was solicited to convey these people as far as Holton, in Calhoun 
County, as I had just returned from a tour through that section of Kansas, 
and, being well acquainted with the roads and the people along the route, 
was considered the person best fitted for the task. Holton is on the direct 
northern route traveled by the Free State emigrants in 1856. 

I complied with the request, and agreed to undertake the trip with 
my own wagon and horses, to be driven by my eldest son Charles, then 
twenty-five years of age. As my wagon would not contain all the passen- 
gers, another wagon and pair of horses were obtained, and Mr. dough, a 
young man who lived near Lawrence, engaged to drive them. All necessary 
preparations were made for the journey; beds, bedding, camp utensils, 
provisions and some arms were packed into the wagons, for the convenience 
of camping out, and for defence. The passengers were eight men, three 
women, and two children. All the adults, except two, showed my son their 
free papers. All had them except these two, whom we knew to be free 
men ; one, Wilson Hays, from Cincinnati, Ohio, the other, Charles Smith, 
from Brownsville, Penn. They had both been employed as cooks, at the 
Eldredge House, in Lawrence. Our entire party numbered sixteen. 

We started early in the morning of the 25th of January, I being on 
horseback, and the men walking behind the wagons, which contained the 
stores with the women and children; crossed the Kansas River at Law- 
rence, and traveled through the Delaware Reservation towards Oscaloosa. 
When about twelve miles from Lawrence, and eight from Oscaloosa, having 
ascertained, as I supposed, that the road was clear, I requested the men 
to get into the wagons, as we had quite a long descent before us, and 
would go down at a brisk pace. They did so, and then, excepting myself, 
all the party were in the wagons, which were covered a'nd thus effectually 
prevented them from seeing what occurred immediately afterwards, and 
from defending themselves. 


the McGee cabin, and doing his full share to perpetuate the 
reproach expressed in the sobriquet of "Cuckold Tom." His 
ideal was Jake Herd, possibly the most daring border-ruffian 
that ever lived in Kansas. At Lecompton, Herd was the right- 
arm of the rough element, the "terror-raiser" of the pro-slavery 

At the bottom of the hill, on the right of the road, is a bluff; from 
behind this, as we turned it, came out a body of some twenty, or more, 
armed and mounted men. Eleven of them approached with leveled rifles 
and ordered us to halt; they keeping, however, at a safe distance from 
our revolvers. My son, with Wilson Hays, the colored man from Cincinnati, 
sprang out of my wagon, which was ahead, and shouted: "Father, we're 
stopped: shall we shoot?" 

Dismounting, I ran round to the off side of the wagon, telling them 
to hold on till I ascertained who the men were and what they wanted. As 
I advanced towards the latter, demanding their business, some of them 
cried out, "Shoot him! shoot him!" and aimed their guns at me. I told 
them to shoot me if they wanted to, but not to fire at the wagons, as there 
were women and children in them. 

I felt perfectly reckless, seeing that we were overpowered, and that, 
hampered as the party were in the wagons, we could do nothing, while I 
anticipated the fate in store for our poor passengers; for I now recognized 
five of the assailants: two young men named McGee, living near Franklin; 
a fellow named Whitley, living in Lawrence; Dr. Garvin, the modern 
Democratic postmaster of that city; and a notorious ruffian .and kidnapper, 
Jake Hurd, who lived about four miles from Lecompton. These were all 
Northern men by birth, the first two being from Illinois, Whitley from 
Ohio, Hurd from Pennsylvania, and Garvin from Indiana or Ills. 

I spoke to these men separately, asking if they had any process 
against us, that they stopped us on the highway. The only replies were 
oaths, threats, and revolvers thrust in our face. 

Turning to Whitley I said, "What? You here, Whitley? A Free 
State man! Where's your process?" 

"Here it is," the brute replied, putting the muzzle of his revolver 
to my head. 

"You will have to pay for this," was my answer. 

I then asked the others if they had any papers to show that any of 
the colored people were claimed as slaves, or if their professed owners were 
present. The only replies were bitter denunciations of "nigger thieves," 
and finally an offer of five hundred dollars, from a man who was a stranger 
to me, if I would drive the colored people to the Eialto Ferry, on the 
Missouri Kiver, opposite Weston. 

I told him no teams of mine should ever be used to carry a human 
being into slavery with my consent. 

"You shall go any how, d n you. We don't mean to let you go 
back and bring an infernal gang of G d d d abolitionists on us." 

' ' That 's your business, ' ' said I. "I should not go if I could help it. ' ' 

A portion of the party then dismounted and went towards the wagons, 
the rest keeping their rifles leveled upon us. The men and women were 
ordered out and tied, one by one, as they descended from the wagons. 

My son had a gun in his hands which he discharged into the air, 
finding that resistance was useless. At the same time Jake Hurd came 
near shooting himself as he tried to draw a gun out of the wagon. The 
hammer caught in some bedding, and the contents of the barrel passed 


party in Kansas. He was known in every town on the border 
as being "sound on the goose/' a holy terror, violent, quick and 
deadly with the revolver, fearless and daring, and a man who 
would risk his life to capture a negro, either free or a runaway 
slave. Quantrill's admiration for Herd was unbounded. They 
differed in that Herd was open, bold, loud of tongue, drunken, 
relying alone upon his force and courage for success, while Quan- 
trill was silent, sober, unpretending, scheming, depending more 
upon cunning, deceit, and intrigue than courage or force in 
reaching his ends. 

Upon what circumstances Quantrill adopted the name Char- 
ley Hart we do not know. He assumed it when he started to 
Utah with the expedition to succor General Johnston in 1858. s 

between his arm and body. [Deflected by a button on his overcoat. The 

"I wish to the Lord it had shot you through the heart, Jake!" I 
exclaimed involuntarily. 

Hurd foamed out, "I'll shoot you, G d d n you." 

"Do so," I replied, "and I'll give you the best horse I own." 

After the colored people were all secured, three of the gang seized 
me and attempted to tie my hands behind my back, but seeing that my 
son's arms were already tied, I broke away from them and went up to 
Hurd, asking him to loose him. He would not, and I untied the rope 
myself. Hurd threatened to shoot me, but I paid no attention to his 

Finding that we valued life cheaper than they supposed, they con- 
sented that Charles and I should go unbound, provided we would go 
quietly, urging at the same time the necessity of keeping us till they were 
beyond the reach of pursuit, and promising that, when we reached the 
Kialto Ferry, our property should be restored to us and we be free to 
return, with good pay for our time and trouble. Of course we had no 
choice but to submit. 

Shortly afterwards, seeing the two colored men before named with 
their arms tied, I proceeded to loose them also, telling the kidnappers that 
I knew they were free men. 

Our captors were much angered by our reckless acts and speech, and 
held a consultation as to what should be done with us. Jake Hurd and 
the McGees advised our murder, saying, "Dead men tell no tales." Others 
advised a hasty retreat, as they thought that an armed escort might be 
expected from Lawrence. This startled them ; I was ordered to get on my 
horse, the rest were hurried into wagons; then, with a man on each side 
whipping the' teams, we drove furiously towards Leavenworth. Camped 
two miles from Leavenworth. About midnight drove on to Eialto Ferry 
opposite Weston. Large bonfire and many armed men there Taken to 
Weston. Then to Platte City and put in jail January 28th. 

5 The description given by K. M. Peck of Quantrill at Fort Bridger 
(see note, ante, page 75) is a good one. Peck states that he was then 


He was known by no other name on that trip, and he gave no 
other name in Lawrence in either 1859 or 1860. S. S. Herd says 
he knew Quantrill only as Charley Hart and did not hear the 
name Quantrill until it became notorious along the border at a 
later day ; and neither did H. S. Clarke. Judge Samuel A. Riggs 
prosecuted him at Lawrence in 1860 for burglary and larceny, 
for arson and kidnapping, under the name of Charley Hart. 6 
Mr. Holland Wheeler, of Lawrence, knew him at this time. He 
describes Quantrill as he appeared there about June, 1860. He 
stopped at the hotel owned by Nathan Stone and registered as 
Charley Hart. Stone was in his confidence and knew his name 
to be William C. Quantrill, having that fact of record on the last 
page of his hotel register.? 

and there known as Charley Hart. His description agrees with that given 
by Mr. Clarke in the article before referred to, which is as follows: 

I first saw Quantrill in June, 1858 (1859). He was about twenty-one 
years old, and, as I remember him, was about five feet ten inches tall, 
rather slight of stature, weighing, perhaps, 150 pounds, walked with an easy, 
slouchy gait, head bent a little forward, eyes cast downward, hair of a 
yellowish-brown color, cut straight around the neck about even with the 
lower part of the ear, the end of the hair turned under towards the neck. 
He wore a drab corduroy suit, with pants tucked into tops of his high- 
heeled boots: also a drab slouch hat. 

Mr. Clarke was a man much respected in Lawrence for his worth as a 
citizen and for his upright life. There is a biographical sketch of him in 
the Seventh Volume, Kansas Historical Collections. 

6 See the statement of Judge Riggs, in the Seventh Volume, Kansas 
Historical Collections, where there is, also, a biographical sketch of the 
judge. He is a lawyer of ability and served long as judge of the district 
court in his district. He is an upright man and is highly regarded by 
the people of Lawrence, where he has lived for half a century. 

7 See account written by Wheeler, published in the Seventh Volume, 
Kansas Historical Collections. His description of Quantrill is as follows: 

I came to Kansas in 1858. Have resided at Lawrence most of the 
time since; in the spring of 1860 was at the old Whitney House, kept by 
Nathan Stone. One day, perhaps in June, there came a lone footman 
across the ferry. He was dressed with corduroy pants tucked into his 
boots, woolen shirt, slouch hat, and carried an oilcloth grip. He was about 
five feet nine inches in height, bow-legged, weight about 150 or 160 pounds, 
sandy hair, rather hooked nose, and had a peculiar droop to his eyelids. 
He walked into the hotel office, deposited the grip, and registered as 
Charles Hart. He left the next morning, leaving the grip for his bill. 
Some days after he returned. Mr. Stone, calling me to the desk, opened 
the day-book and showed me on the back page the name Wm. C. Quantrill, 
remarking, ' ' That is Hart 's real name. He is a detective for the Delaware 
Indians. ' ' Quantrill was at the hotel at times from this on up to quite 
late in the fall. He usually had the same room with myself. During 


All the time Quantrill lived in and about Lawrence he was 
known as Charley Hart. Very few people there knew that he 
had any other name. His true name was known about Osa- 
watomie and Stanton, and it became known there that he was 
living at Lawrence under the assumed name of Charley Hart. 
So, the people of Lykins (Miami) county were never deceived 
as to his identity. 

Charley Hart and William C. Quantrill have herein now 
been shown to have been identical. There never was any man 
named Charley Hart in Kansas. William C. Quantrill falsely 
represented himself to be Charley Hart, and he did so because of 
the criminal life he intended to lead and did lead. As there 
never can be any question as to his identity, Quantrill will be 
spoken of by his true name hereinafter. But it must be remem- 
bered that to the people of Lawrence he was Charley Hart. Few 
of them knew he was Quantrill until after he became a bush- 
whacker in Missouri. And this name "Charley" stuck to him to 
his death. In Missouri he was known as "Charley" Quantrill, 
and he is so known to this day by his followers there. In most 
books by Missourians in which he is mentioned his name is given 
as Charles William Quantrill. 8 

the very warm nights we frequently slept on the roof of the veranda. 
(Often I borrowed a pistol to put under my pillow. Why? Well, I don't 
know myself.) 

Quantrill told me of his trip to New Mexico (Utah) a short time 
before. He called Paola his home. His most usual companions were the 
Miller brothers and one Baldwin. He also was about Dean's shop. Had 
a lady friend who was in town at times. Saw him riding with her in a 
carriage several times. He told me about her; all of which I forget. 
Quantrill and myself frequently went down on the river bank to practice 
pistol shooting. He was very friendly with me. 

8 A. M. Winner, Esq., Kansas City, Mo., has Quantrill 'a watch. 
Quantrill lost this watch in an orchard in Jackson county during the war. 
More than thirty years after it was lost there the orchard was cut down 
and the ground plowed up, when the watch was found. The finder of the 
watch gave it to Mr. Winner, who has shown it to the author. On the 
inside of the back lid or cover of the case is cut with some sharp instru- 
ment the name, ' ' Charley Quantrill. ' ' Quantrill called attention to the loss 
of his watch a few minutes after it disappeared and searched for it for an 
hour or more. He and his men got their dinner at the home of the man 
who owned the orchard, and whose name the author does not now recall. 
He was a prominent citizen of Jackson county, and Quantrill requested 


him to keep the matter in mind and find the watch if he could, which he 
did many years afterward. 

In the Kansas City Times, Dec. 1, 1894, appears the following account 
of the finding of the watch: 

A very interesting relic, interesting from the historic relations of the 
man who once owned it, was found on the farm of Ink Hicklin at Green- 
wood, near Lee's Summit, a few weeks ago. It is the watch once carried 
by the famous renegade, Charles Quantrell, and lost by him on Mr. Hicklin 's 
farm thirty-two years ago. Quantrell and his band were riding through 
the country, pursued by the federal troops at the time the watch was lost, 
and while hunting for it Quantrell barely escaped being captured. The 
day after it was lost Quantrell returned, and with Mr. Ink Hicklin, now 
living on the farm upon which the watch was lost, hunted for it, but 
failed to find it. The watch lay there for thirty-two years and was 
picked up by the man who had helped its owner look for it, when the 
owner's bones had been dust for many years and his daring and heartless 
deeds almost forgotten, save for the blot on the scroll of history. 

Why Quantrell should risk being captured to search for the watch 
is a puzzling question, certainly not because of its intrinsic value, as the 
case is of brass, at one time gold plated. It is a hunting case, and closed 
together well, for the wheels are almost intact after all the years it has 
been exposed to the elements. 

The name "Charles Quantrell" is rudely cut on the inner side of 
the back cover of the case, and looks as if it had been done with a pocket 
knife. That the watch is genuine, Daniel Williams of Greenwood will 
swear, for he saw Quantrell cut the name on the case. The watch belongs 
to Jack Atkins, a jeweler at Greenwood, and it was when he poured some 
acid on it to find what it was made of that the name was made legible. 
Mr. Atkins sent the watch to The Star for inspection,-and it is undoubtedly 
genuine. All the old settlers in the neighborhood where it was lost and 
found remember the circumstance of Quantrell losing his watch. 

In the Collection of the author there are some letters from Samuel 
Walker, long a resident of Lawrence, to W. W. Scott. In one of these 
letters, dated Lawrence, Kansas, April 14, 1889, Walker says: 

He never went by any other name here than Hart. I never heard the 
name Quantrill until after he went to Mo. 

Mr. Walker was Sheriff of Douglas county and knew Hart well, hav- 
ing made repeated efforts to arrest him for crimes committed there. 



QUANTRILL took part in the expeditions and forays of 
the kidnappers and ruffians as soon as he was well enough 
known to have their confidence, which must have been 
within a month or two from the time he took up his abode again 
with the Dela wares. These forays and thieving excursions did 
not occupy all the time of the ruffians. They transacted their 
business much as robbers and highwaymen transact theirs to-day 
by making a raid and disposing of their plunder secured, then 
lounging and loafing about liquor-shops and skulking through 
thickets with fallen women for a time before again taking to the 
road. Associating with fallen women was Quantrill's greatest 
weakness; his other forms of dissipation were few, gambling 
being one of them. Herd says that his living among the Indians 
first caused the McGees to think there might be something in 
Quantrill that would make him one of their band. 1 While Quan- 

i There is a little discrepancy in Herd's statements, that published 
in the Kansas Historical Collection, differing somewhat from what he told 
the author. The published statement is the first public utterance he made 
on the subject, and he was in making it naturally cautious, having been 
to some extent associated with Quantrill. But there is substantial agree- 
ment in all he has said the differences being caused by the evident fact 
that he has not yet told the whole story of what he knows of Quantrill's 
actions. Here is his account of Quantrill's first appearance and of his 
becoming acquainted with the characters at Lawrence, taken from the 
Kansas Historical Collections: 

During the summer of 1858, and for a year or two thereafter, I was 
much of the time employed with the Baldwin boys operating the old rope 
ferry across the Kansas river at this point, connecting Lawrence with the 
Delaware Indian reserve. 

It was here at the ferry where I first met W. C. Quantrill, then under 
the assumed name of Charles Hart. Hart claimed then to be stopping with 
a son of Sarcoxie, a Delaware chief, a few miles out on the reserve, and 
he frequently crossed the river with us going to and from Lawrence. At 


trill became as reckless as any of the gang of which he was a 
part, he ever tried to remain out of the public eye. And he was, 
while a border-ruffian, trying to act with the radical anti-slavery 
people at Lawrence. He could not be true to any cause, for, 
of moral character, the foundation of devotion, he was devoid. 
Being false at heart and governed by self-interest solely, it was 
natural that he should be two-faced, untrue to everything and 
everybody, governed entirely by what he believed would make 
him the most money. His old trait of sudden disappearances 
and reappearances was observed by his associates at Lawrence. 
One day a negro came out of the woods on the old Indian 
trail leading through the Delaware Reserve to the ferry at Law- 
rence. He was young and strong, but he seemed worn and 
weary from running. Herd was at work on the ferry-boat, and 
the negro inquired of him the way to the house of James H. 
Lane, saying he desired to go there. Herd put him across the 
river. Quantrill and Frank Baldwin were loafing at the south 
landing. Herd told them where the negro desired to go and 
turned him over to them, telling him they would take him to 
Lane's house. They said they would take him to Lane's house, 
certainly they would. Then they told him to "come along." 
The negro went with Quantrill and Baldwin, and, believing that 
he was with friends, he answered their questions freely. He 
had escaped from his owner, a widow named Gaines, who lived 
at Platte City, Mo. He had come through Leavenworth and the 
Delaware Reserve, believing that if he could get to Lane's house 

first Quantrill appeared to be rather reticent, but after a time, crossing 
frequently as he did, he appeared to become more sociable, and often stopped 
and chatted with the boys, and after a time became more chummy, often 
spending a half hour or longer with us when we were not busy, practicing 
jumping with the boys, running short foot-races, etc. He did not strike 
me as having any braggadocio or desire to make any display in any way. 
If he had any money, to amount to anything, no one knew it but himself. 
He did not appear to have any business or means of support, so far as I 
knew. I don't think he had any very positive convictions on questions that 
were agitating the territory at that time; if he did, he certainly kept 
them to himself. One thing is certain, he was always willing to go into 
anything that turned up that had a dollar in it for Charley Hart. 

During my acquaintance with Quantrill, he did not appear to be 
permanently located in any place, and would frequently leave without any 
warning to any one of us, and be gone for days, and sometimes weeks, and 
then turn up again as unexpectedly as he had departed. 


he would be safe and so he would have been. They took him 
to McGee 's. 

That night Quantrill, Jake McGee and Frank Baldwin tied 
the negro on a horse and took him to Westport, stopping in the 
woods near the town. There McGee left the negro to be guarded 
by Quantrill and Baldwin, while he rode to Platte City to 
arrange with the widow for as large a reward as could be wrung 
from her for the slave 's return. She agreed to pay five hundred 
dollars for his return, though the statutory reward was but two 
hundred dollars. McGee went back to Westport, and the next 
day they took the negro to Platte City and received the sum 
agreed upon all in new twenty-dollar bills of some Missouri 
bank. The widow asked the slave why he had run away, and he 
said the keeper of the livery stable had induced him to do it. 
When Quantrill and associates returned to Lawrence they gave 
Herd one hundred dollars of the money they had received for 
taking the negro back to Missouri. 3 

2 When the author heard this story from Herd he wrote to Hon. E. P. 
C. Wilson, of Platte City, to secure verification of it. At first Mr. Wilson 
could find no evidence of such an occurrence, and so wrote me. Later, 
he secured the evidence, when he wrote me the following letter, which 
fully confirms Herd's account: 

Platte City, Mo., Nov. 27, 1907. 

Dear Mr. Connelley: 

I have just had a conversation with an aged negro, now known 
here as ' ' Old Milt ' ' Paxton having belonged to our old friend, Mr. W. 
M. Paxton who told me that just before the breaking out of the war, 
"Ike" Gaines, a slave belonging to Joanna Gaines, widow of E. P. Gaines, 
was persuaded off, went, or was taken to Kansas, and then brought back 
bound with ropes across the Missouri, delivered to his owner, who paid the 
statutory reward maybe more than that sum ; that Miles Harrington, 
a wealthy man here, the son-in-law of Mrs. Gaines, transacted all the 
business pertaining to the recovery of "Ike." Ike, the old negro thinks, 
lives now in Wathena, Kansas. Harrington and his whole family are, I 
think, now dead. 

There is, then, no doubt that there was a Mrs. Gaines living here at 
the time indicated; that her slave, Ike, ran or was enticed away, and was 
brought back "in ropes" and returned to his mistress (Widow Gaines) 
who paid a substantial reward how much is not positively known. Old 
Milt says that sort of thing was going on right along then. I think now 
Q. was in the game and your informant was probably correct in his 

Tours truly, 

E. P. C. Wilson. 
Eeference to Annals of Platte County, Missouri, by W. M. Paxton, 


Soon after his arrival at Lawrence from returning "Ike" 
Gaines to bondage Quantrill suddenly disappeared. He was 
gone some time two or three weeks when he suddenly made 
his appearance riding a race-horse, a sorrel with white feet and 
legs, and called "White Stockings." Quantrill claimed to have 
bought the horse at or near Paola; it was his intention to win 
some money with the racer. William Mulkey, one of the famous 
pioneers of Kansas City, Mo., was at that time (and long after- 
wards) a breeder and trainer of race-horses. He then had a 
horse with a reputation for speed on the track, known as "Mul- 
key 's Colt ' ' throughout western Missouri and Kansas. Quantrill 
believed that White Stockings could beat Mulkey 's Colt. He, 
Herd and Frank Baldwin took QuantrilPs horse to Westport to 
arrange for a race. Mulkey was a shrewd man and a good judge 
of horses. Fearing that Mulkey would not bet much on his colt 
after having seen White Stockings, Quantrill put on his horse 
a high-horned heavy saddle and brought him out muddy and 
unkempt generally. Mulkey was deceived and bet one hundred 
and fifty dollars on his colt. Baldwin rode White Stockings in 
the race, and Mulkey 's Colt was badly beaten. The party 
remained about Westport two or three weeks, but finding no 
further opportunity for a race they left town. Quantrill and 
Baldwin took the horse south along the state line and were gone 
a week or two, when they returned without the horse. They 
were among the Indians perhaps the Cherokees. This was in 
the early part of the summer of 1860.3 

the most complete history ever written of any county in the United States, 
shows the following, page 187: 

EICHAED P. GAINES, b. in 1789; d. Sept. 6, 1854; m'd in Ken- 
tucky, Joanna Tinder, who survived him. He came to Platte City in 1842, 
and purchased of J. V. Cockrell the frame hotel on the southeast corner of 
what is now the public square. He was a fat and jolly landlord, and 
highly esteemed. 

It was the widow of Eichard P. Gaines who had to redeem her slave 
"Ike" from Quantrill and his gang, and they wrung from her more than 
twice the lawful reward. 

3 In his published account, Herd says of this horse : 

In the summer of 1860 he suddenly disappeared, and after an absence 
of some time he as suddenly returned with a running horse, named "White 
Stockings," which he claimed he had bought in the neighborhood of Paola, 
Kansas. On this occasion he insisted that Frank Baldwin and myself 


It is believed that it was on the trip to dispose of the race- 
horse that Quantrill conceived the idea of bartering with the 
Missourians and preying upon them through treachery. There 
was much feeling in Jackson county (and other border counties) 
against Captain John E. Stewart, who lived about four miles 
south of Lawrence, whose claim was in the heavily wooded bot- 
tom of the Wakarusa, where the creek makes a sort of horse- 
shoe bend. Stewart had built a strong fort on his claim.* He 

should accompany him to Jackson County, Missouri, and assist him in 
making some races, more particularly with the "Mulkey colt," that had 
quite a reputation as a runner. Baldwin and I went on that trip, and 
were gone about three weeks with him. Seeing no chance for further sport 
in that community, Baldwin and I decided to come back to Lawrence, and 
Quantrill said he was going to start south, down, perhaps, as far as Fort 
Scott, Kan., with his horse. We left him at McGees and returned to 

Herd says both he and Baldwin returned, leaving Quantrill at McGee's 
which must be an error, for the McGees lived within two miles of Lawrence. 
The account in the text was given by Herd to the author. But this may 
mean that they left him at the hotel of Milton McGee, in Kansas City, Mo. 

4 Stewart's claim is the present Douglas County "Poor Farm." It 
is the northwest quarter of Section twenty, Township thirteen, Eange 
twenty. It was surrounded by timber and thickets of brush, in a secluded 
and inaccessible place. 

In a clipping from the Lawrence Tribune, no date, now in the Collec- 
tion of the author, is the following concerning John E. Stewart: 

He [Quantrill] professed to be an ardent and very radical Abolitionist, 
and soon became intimately acquainted with the leading men of that class, 
among whom John E. Stewart was a leading spirit, and an acknowledged 
chief. Stewart had been a Methodist minister in good standing and repute 
before coming to Kansas, and had preached to good acceptance at Salem, 
N. H., for a considerable time. He lived in 1859-60 on a farm claim 
about four miles Southeast of Lawrence on what is now the "Douglas 
County Poor Farm" and his house was a common rendezvous of a certain 
class of extreme "Free State" men and of slaves escaping from Missouri. 
Among others who are remembered as frequenting at Stewart 's may be 
mentioned John H. Kagi and young Coppic, who afterwards went with 
old John Brown on his Harper 's Ferry enterprise. Quantrell alias ' ' Charley 
Hart" soon became extremely intimate with Stewart, and when he was not 
at the City Hotel it was commonly supposed that he might be found at 
Stewart's; though in point of fact he was known to have made several 
trips into Missouri, sometimes in company with Stewart and he also 
scoured the country on horseback in various directions from Lawrence. 
Stewart had already won the nickname of the "Fighting Preacher," and 
had been actively engaged with old John Brown and Col. James Mont- 
gomery during the troubles in Linn and Bourbon Counties, and had taken 
part in bringing slaves out of Missouri. He was beginning to be suspected 
of entertaining loose notions with regard to property in horses as well as 
negroes, but his burning zeal in behalf of the Free State cause and the 


was a preacher and very active in securing slaves from Missouri 
to take out over the underground railroad. He made many raids 
into Missouri and always brought out slaves perhaps other 
property. The State of Missouri set a price on his head, as did 
some counties and individuals. Quantrill would willingly have 
betrayed him into the hands of the Missourians for these rewards. 
After the Morgan Walker affair Stewart said Quantrill had been 
trying all summer to get him to go on that trip, but that he 
would not go with Quantrill as he did not trust him fully. 5 

That Quantrill and Stewart were close friends for a time 
there is no doubt. Quantrill and a man named Sinclair made a 
raid into Salt Creek Valley, in Leavenworth county, and stole 
more than eighty head of cattle from pro-slavery settlers there. 
They drove the cattle to Lawrence, crossing at the ferry, and 
took them to Captain Stewart's fort. The owners of the cattle 
followed them, and, securing the services of the sheriff of Doug- 
las county, recovered all but two, and these were being butchered 
at Stewart's before the officers arrived. 6 

freedom of the colored race caused his irregularities to be winked at to 
some extent, by those who became aware of them and his excesses to be 

Most people only know him as "The Fighting Preacher," the friend 
of John Brown, the pronounced Abolitionist, and the man ever ready to 
harbor and defend fugitives from slavery. 

5 In the published statement of S. S. Herd, it is said : 

At the time we made this trip to Jackson county, Missouri, with 
Quantrill, there was much excitement among the people over the depreda- 
tions committed by some of the "abolition leaders," and a very bitter 
feeling existed toward Captain John E. Stewart and others, and I have 
always had my suspicions that it was during this trip, and after he left 
us with his racing-horse, that he conceived the idea and perhaps laid his 
plans to deliver Captain Stewart over to the authorities of Jackson county, 
which finally resulted in the episode at Walker's house, later in the season. 

6 Letters of Samuel Walker to W. W. Scott, now in the Collection of 
the author. There are two of these letters, one dated January 28, 1883, 
and one dated April 14, 1889. Both were written from Lawrence, Walker's 
home. Walker was the sheriff. He was one of the first settlers of Law- 
rence. He was a very conscientious man and an excellent citizen, but 
entertained strong prejudices. There are contradictions in the statements 
made in these letters. In the first he says that "Hart and Coppock" stole 
the cattle. In the second, he says they were stolen by Hart and Sinclair. 
Barclay Coppoc returned to Kansas after the Harper's Ferry raid, and he 
lived at that time with John Dean at Lawrence. But it was Sinclair who 
was on this raid into Salt Creek Valley with Quantrill. And this valley 


While Quantrill would flee to the protecting walls of Stew- 
art's fort with cattle and horses stolen from pro-slavery settlers 
in Kansas, he did not hesitate to attack Stewart and attempt to 
storm his fort if he saw a dollar in it for himself for doing so. 
During the summer of 1860 Captain Stewart received and con- 
cealed for transportation over the underground railroad some 
slaves who had escaped from their masters in Missouri. Before 
the slaves could be forwarded their owners appeared in pursuit 
of them. They enlisted, to help them recover the slaves, Jake 
Herd, Jake McGee, Tom McGee, "Cuckold Tom" McGee, Henry 
McLaughlin, Esau Sager, and Quantrill. They went to Stew- 
art's fort and demanded the slaves. Quantrill remained in the 
background so as not to be seen by Stewart. Stewart had armed 

was one of the favorite raiding grounds of Quantrill; he stole many horses 
and cattle from settlers in Atchison and Leavenworth counties, taking 
them usually from pro-slavery men, driving them to Stewart's fort, from 
which point they were disposed of in the country south of the Kansas river. 
Of the identity of Sinclair nothing is known for certain, but he must have 
been Walt Sinclair, afterwards a Eed Leg and murderer under Jennison. 
In one of the letters Walker says he recovered more than eighty head of 
cattle; in the other, he says he recovered fifty head. The following quota- 
tion is from the last letter: 

Hart & Sinclair came across the Kansas Eiver at Lawrence from Salt 
Creek Valley . . . with 80 odd head of cattle. . . . Hart & Sinclair were 
alone, they took the cattle to Stuarts fort. I found the cattle at Stuarts, 
and found Stuart, Buchannon, St. Clair & Hart playing cards & some men 
skinning two of the steers in the yard, the cattle were taken from pro- 
slavery men that lived in Kansas. ... I was Sheriff of Douglas County 
& lived at Lawrence, the owners came to me & stated that they had lost 
the cattle & tracked them to the river. I was at the river in the morning 
& saw the cattle cross & Hart & St. Clair was driving them. I knew 
at once they were taking them to Stewarts fort 5 miles south of town. 
Hart was indicted for stealing horses in the U. S. Court and I as Deputy 
TL 8. Marshal tried to arrest him. 

In the same letter, Walker describes his first meeting with Quan- 
trill, as follows: 

My first acquaintance with Charley Hart was in Paola in this State. 
I met him with Capt. John Stewart, he introduced him to me as an Ohio 
boy & I being from that state I had a long talk with him. I was Badly 
impressed with him then & never got over it. he did not deceive me one 

In the first letter, Walker says: 

I will be plain with you. I had thought that no one but A Democrat 
or Rebel would try to Excuse Charley Hart, as I saw you had done in Sev- 
eral Articles you had written, he was a Monster of the worst kind, when 
any one tells me that he could not control his men they simply say they 


the negroes, and he refused to surrender them. A battle ensued, 
and the kidnappers were repulsed after securing but one slave ; 
they claimed that the others were so badly wounded as to be 
worthless, but as Stewart led the fight and was not injured, it is 
not to be supposed that any of the negroes were seriously hurt. 
They were probably all able to go out on the next train over the 
underground railroad. Quantrill had given the information to 
his ruffian partners of the presence of the slaves at Stewart's 
fort, and he was planning to kidnap them and sell them or take 
them to Missouri for the rewards offered for them when the 

are not Posted. I could tell many things about Hart that came under my 
observations, at that time, as I was Sheriff and Deputy Marshal, that 
would not be flattering to his Mother. 

It will be observed in the above that when Hart was operating with 
the Free-State men he claimed to be from Ohio. When he went to Missouri 
he claimed to have been born in Maryland. At the time spoken of by 
Walker, Quantrill was associated with the ultra wing of the anti-slavery 
party and also with the border-ruffijans. With him it was any person or 
party that would afford him an opportunity to steal. He had no choice 
no principle no moral sense. 

In the clipping from the Lawrence Tribune already quoted from is 
the following account of the cattle stolen by Quantrill: 

Charley Hart is supposed to have paid his bills at Stone's Hotel in 
a satisfactory manner, though it was not easy to see how he could get 
the money for that purpose. Some suspicion was at length entertained 
that he occasionally indulged in horse stealing, and some time in the 
fall of 1860 he was seen with another young man driving a herd of 
fine steers across the Kansas river, through Lawrence in the direction 
of Stewart's farm. He made no great secret of the fact that he had 
taken the cattle without buying them; told an acquaintance as he passed 
through Lawrence that he had "jayhawked" them and went on his way 
in peace. Not many hours afterwards some men from the neighbor- 
hood of Kickapoo, in Leavenworth County, came following on the trail of 
the cattle, crossed the river near where the Lawrence bridge now is, 
talked with Capt. Sam Walker then sheriff of Douglas county, learned 
where the cattle were likely to be found, took Sheriff Walker with them 
and went direct to Stewart's farm. They found the cattle in a large 
corral, except two that had been killed and were then hung up to cool. 
Stewart claimed that he had bought the two steers he had slaughtered 
from two men who had passed on to the south, and who would return in a 
day or two for the cattle left in his keeping. But there sat Quantrell 
alias "Hart" with the other man who had assisted him in driving the 
cattle through Lawrence and Walker knew that Stewart's story was a 
bare-faced lie. Quantrell made no claim to the cattle and said not a word 
about them. Stewart claimed only the two he had killed, and Walker 
delivered the others over to their owners who drove them quietly home 
again to Kickapoo. 


owners appeared in pursuit. This was what he called his 
"detective work." 

There were not wanting accusations that Quantrill was ply- 
ing his vocation of murderer even in the town of Lawrence, and 
that murders were frequently committed by him there little 
doubt can now remain. The Lawrence Tribune has the follow- 
ing on this head: 

Sometime after this incident Quantrell came to Sheriff 
Walker and told him that two men had come up from Missouri 
on the hunt for some runaway slaves and had put up at Stone's 
Hotel. That two well known citizens of Lawrence had taken 
them in charge promising to guide them to where their slaves 
were secreted; had taken them down to the banks of the Kansas 
river below where the bridge now stands and had there KILLED 
THEM, tied their bodies together with cords and thrown them 
into the river. To convince Walker of the truth of his story, 
Quantrell offered to show him where the horses were which the 
two Missourians had rode, and accordingly he took Walker across 
the river to a spot near where Moak's elevator now stands, then 
covered with a dense growth of timber and showed him two 
horses which appeared to have been kept there for several days. 
Sheriff Walker took the horses in charge and advertised them, 
but they were never claimed or called for. 

There was not the slightest reason for believing that the two 
men accused of murder by Quantrell were guilty of such a deed ; 
they laughed the story to scorn; but nevertheless the murders 
were undoubtedly committed by some persons, for within ten 
or twelve days from the time that Walker took possession of the 
horses, the bodies of two men were found floating in the river 
near Eudora, tied together with a rope, as described by Quan- 
trell, and were taken out and buried at some place not far from 

There can be no shadow of doubt that Quantrell himself 
either alone or with the help of a confederate, murdered those 
two men from Missouri in cold blood for the purpose of obtaining 
the money they had on their persons, and perhaps for the further 
object of showing some of his more reckless associates that he was 
ready to go all lengths against ' ' Negro Hunters. ' ' 

Very possibly there was another reason for killing these 
men. It was then suspected and is now well known that Quan- 
trell was playing a dangerous double game, that of Aboli- 
tionist and Slave Liberator in Kansas, and that of an extreme 
Pro-Slavery man in Missouri, professing to slave-holders there 
that he was acting the part of a spy, detective, and slave-catcher 


in Kansas. He was aiding and persuading slaves to escape from 
their masters into Kansas, and then betraying them by disclosing 
their place of refuge to those same masters for a reward. 
"Whether he ever actually assisted in kidnapping or capturing 
escaped slaves and taking them back to bondage is not clear. 
Such devil's work was done by others here if not by him, and it 
is hardly probable that he would allow such a rich mine of hell- 
ishness and infamy to be worked by others, while he took no 
share in it. Assuming that this was so, we may readily imagine 
that these two men fresh from Missouri on the hunt for runaway 
slaves, had become masters of the dangerous secret of his two- 
faced career, and that Quantrill thought it his safest course to 
dispose of them, remembering the trite saying, that "dead men 
tell no tales." 

Additional evidence that Quantrill was never actuated by 
any principle or convictions, but solely by his innate love for 
lawlessness, robbery, and plunder, may be found in the follow- 
ing incident. Late in the fall of 1860 he made up a party at 
Lawrence for the purpose of raiding into Missouri to steal horses, 
mules, and cattle. This raid was made into Cass county. Quan- 
trill had carefully gone over the roads there and had marked the 
farms from which stock was to be taken. The party secured a 
large amount of live stock and started to return to Kansas. 
Quantrill slipped away from his companions and alarmed the 
people where the stock had been stolen, gathered a number of 
them together, and led them against his own band of thieves, 
who were overtaken before they had reached the State-line. A 
battle was fought in which the robbers resisted fiercely and suc- 
ceeded in escaping with most of their spoil, which they sold along 
the route home. Quantrill contracted with the Missourians to 
find and identify the live stock at so much per head, and he 
secured the return of much of it from those who had purchased 
it from the robbers. "When he returned to Lawrence he claimed 
that he had become bewildered in the dark, had lost his way to 
the camp, had been set upon by enraged owners of the cattle and 
horses and nearly lost his life, but finally escaped by making a 
long detour to the south. He claimed his portion of the money 
the live stock had been sold for, and it was paid over to him. 
But his associates were not satisfied with his explanations, and 


they would not follow him any more. After that he operated 
almost entirely with the ultra wing of the anti-slavery people. 

Such duplicity is amazing. A character capable of such 
baseness is incomprehensible. Depravity in such a form and 
carried to such an extent bewilders, becomes a mystery. 7 

While engaged in this carnival of crime Quantrill wrote his 
mother a letter the last word she ever heard from him. He 
did not leave even a word for her in the mouth of the priest who 
shrived him at death for his gold. The letter is dated at Law- 

7 This was a famous raid, and memory of it still exists among the old 
residents along the border. The author has had many indefinite accounts 
of it, most of the details having been forgotten. Hon. William Higgins, 
now of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, furnished information that was valuable in 
securing an adequate account of it. Mr. Higgins lived at that time at 
Paola, Kansas. This is believed to have been the raid referred to by 
S. S. Herd, in his printed statement, in the Seventh Volume, Kansas His- 
torical Collections, as follows: 

The next, and in fact the last, time I saw Quantrill was in the 
spring of 1861. I received word from some of the boys to be out at John 
Stropp 's on a certain evening. (Stropp lived about a mile and a half 
east of town, in a double log-house, surrounded by timber and brush.) 
At the appointed time I went there, and found Quantrill (who did not dare 
to be seen in Lawrence at that time), Stropp, Jay Vince, Jack Elliott (a 
brother-in-law of Frank Baldwin), and Frank Baldwin. Quantrill said he 
wanted to raise some men to go down on the border, a little way over the 
line in Missouri, and make a trip down through that country, and get some 
stock. He said there was fine stock in that section, and he knew the 
country well. The other boys that were present all agreed to go, and they 
got another man or two to go with them, but I do not now remember 
what their names were. They made the trip, being gone, to the best of 
my recollection, about ten days, when they all returned to Lawrence with 
the exception of Quantrill. The boys said they had a good time, and got 
lots of stock, and were getting out nicely till they got near the Kansas 
line, when they were partially surrounded and attacked by about thirty 
of the Missourians, and had a brisk fight, but managed to escape that 
night and get into Kansas with most of their plunder. Much of the stock 
they traded off to the farmers in that vicinity and along the road from 
there to Lawrence. This was undoubtedly the stock that Quantrill after- 
wards engaged to locate or return to its proper owners for so much per 

The raid described by Herd may not have been the same as that 
described in the text, but the probability is that they are identical. Herd 
says it was in the spring of 1861, which would be impossible, for after 
the Morgan Walker raid Quantrill did not operate from Lawrence, and 
that raid was made in December, 1860. The date of the raid described 
was November, 1860, but just what time in the month it was made can not 
now be determined. 


rence, June 23, 1860. In this letter he again promised to send 
her some money, a promise he did not keep. It is known that 
he had money that he received considerable sums as the results 
of his kidnappings and robberies. And he deceived her by say- 
ing he had sent her some money in previous letters which she 
never received and which he never sent. Perhaps the world has 
seen few men who would deliberately lie to their mothers to 
avoid sending a few dollars to aid them to feed and clothe their 
orphan children. It may be that Quantrill stands in a class 
alone in this respect. His mother was a widow with a large 
family of almost helpless children to support. She did not for- 
get him, but sent him once a pair of boots and frequently sent 
him small presents the first year he was in Kansas sent them 
by friends who came from Canal Dover to the Territory. Yet, 
when he had plenty of money as the result of the criminal law- 
less life he was living, he did not send her a penny, and he delib- 
erately broke off correspondence with her rather than keep his 
promise made in this last letter to send her a few dollars. For, 
had he written again he would have been compelled to send her 
the money he promised or to have invented some lying excuse for 
not doing so. He chose deliberately to abandon her, and she 
never again heard from him. 

Quantrill probably had some thought of returning to Ohio 
when he wrote this letter. He intended to run when it became 
too hot for him in Kansas, and he had calculated that September 
would bring that condition of affairs. But he remained as long 
as he could until December then ran only to Missouri. By 
that time he had grown much in the science of villainy, and he 
saw immense possibilities in that line along the border during 
the continuance of the war that was then on the land. 

In his letter he claimed to have been surveying lands in the 
Delaware Indian Reservation, making this assertion to cause 
his mother to believe he was leading an industrious and honest 
life. 8 

8 Letter of W. C. Quantrill to his mother, now in the Collection of 
the author. It was the last word his mother ever received from him, the 
last time she ever heard from him except indirectly and by chance through 
newspaper reports. 


Lawrence, Kansas 

June 23. 1860. 
My Dear Mother. 

I seat myself again to write to you without having received 
an answer to my last two letters, and from the delay suppose 
you have not received them. If you did not I shall be quite dis- 
appointed for in one of the[m] I enclosed five dollars & the other 
ten knowing that you needed it and if I knew you had received 
them I would in this one send more. You spoke about havi[n]g 
to put a new roof on the house; well answer this immediately 
and I will send the means in the form of a check & then there 
can be no loss. I would like to come with it, but I cannot get 
away yet a while. I am expecting to get some money from a 
man who has brought suit against Government & has had judg- 
ment rendered in his favor but without that, I can send you fifty 
dollars as soon as you answer this letter. I received a letter 
from Mary dated June 1st Washn only two days ago and as 
she said she would probably start home about the middle of the 
month I will not answer it at present until I hear from you 

It has been very dry here in this section of the country 
causing the crops to be backwarfd] and times rather dull. Peo- 
ple a [re] generally healthy. I had a slight chill and fever the 
other day but none since. I think it was owing to having 
exposed myself too much for a couple of weeks. I have been 
out with a surveying party on the Delaware Indian lands & was 
obliged to camp out under rather unfavorable circumstances. 
I wish you a merry fourth of July. I intend spending mine 
near where I kept school last winter if nothing happens When 
you write tell me all the news for I never hear any thing from 
there only what you write. You must excuse my short and 
badly written letters, for I stop at taverns & never can feel at 
home enough to collect my thoughts & write an interesting letter. 
Tell me something about Grandfather for I have a desire to 
hear from him & would write If I knew where to direct to. If 
you have only received my two last letters is all that I wish at 
present, but let me know about it as soon as possible for I have 
money in my pocket now for you & will send it as soon as you 
write & probably sooner should I go to Leavenworth city for 
there I can get a check 

Give my respects to my friends & my love to you all, hoping 
that soon I will see you all again. 

Your Son 

W. C. Quantrill 

P. S. I will here say that I will be home any how as soon as the 
1st of September & probably sooner by that time I will be done 
with Kansas. W. C. Q. 

^ / /^Ot-r / /* ! 7T>x 


Written in pencil by W. W. Scott, is the following: "Clos- 
ing paragraph of last letter Mrs. Quantrill ever received. ' ' This 
endorsement was made for the reason that the last paragraph 
and the postscript are written on a fragment of a sheet of paper 
about one-third the size of the sheet on which the letter is writ- 

On this same fragment is the following endorsement writ- 
ten in pencil in a hand unlike any other writing about the let- 
ter: "Belongs to letter dated Lawrence, Kans., June 23, 1860, 
last any one in Ohio ever received from him." 

In the fall of 1860 one Heath put in a foundation for a 
stone house near Kanwaka, a village some four miles southeast 
of Lecompton. Cold weather coming on, the house could not 
be completed at that time, so, joists were put in, and on these 
joists prairie hay was stacked to keep out the rain and snow and 
to keep the walls dry. Some underground railroad enthusiast 
hid a runaway negro under this hay and boasted that Jake Herd 
could not find him. Some school children found him and told 
Jake of his whereabouts. Herd took Quantrill and some others 
and went to the house and got the negro. In taking him out the 
hay was burned and the people were attracted to the place. 
The walls of the building were ruined by the fire. A sort of 
pitched battle took place between the friends of the negro and 
Herd and his followers, but they got away with the negro and 
took him to Missouri and sold him. This was very late in the 

For this crime he was prosecuted by Hon. Samuel A. Riggs, 
then county attorney of Douglas county. Quantrill had also 
broken into the powder storage house of Ridenour & Baker and 
stolen a large amount of powder ; he was indicted for it. He was 
indicted for kidnapping, and there was an indictment against 
him in the Federal Court for horse-stealing.? 

9 In a statement published in the Seventh Volume, Kansas Historical 
Collections, Judge Riggs says: 

During the years 1860 and 1861 I was county attorney of Douglas 
county. During the year 1860 Quantrill was living and operating in the 
vicinity of Lawrence under the name of Charley Hart. By that name I 
prosecuted him in this county, during the summer and fall of 1860, for 
burglary and larceny, in breaking open and stealing from a powder-house 
of Ridenour & Baker; for arson, in setting fire to a barn in Kanwaka 


The following incidents will show that Quantrill had trouble 
with the Delaware Indians and robbed them, though they had 
given him a home had sheltered him and had fed him. In his 
published statement, Henry S. Clarke says: 

One little incident that occurred in the summer of 1860, that 
others who are now living here witnessed besides myself, I will 

About half a dozen Delaware Indians came riding into Law- 
rence one day very much excited, and soon had a large group of 
people around them inquiring what was up, etc. White Turkey, 
a young Delaware, who talked pretty good English, and always 
sported an eagle's feather dangling from his hat, was telling the 
crowd about several of their ponies being stolen, and said they 
had traced them to the Kansas river near Lawrence, and that 
Charley Hart (as Quantrill called himself then) was one of the 
men seen with the ponies. Quantrill, who was in the rear of the 
crowd, heard the remark, and stepped forward with a big bluff, 
warning White Turkey that that kind of talk did not go, and 
made a motion toward his revolver. White Turkey whipped out 
his gun and had him covered in less than a second. Quantrill 
had his pistol out of the holster, but dared not attempt to elevate 
it, but backed out of the crowd with his pistol pointing toward 
the ground, as White Turkey slowly advanced toward him, until 
he (Quantrill) saw a chance to give his adversary the slip, which 
he was by no means too proud or reckless to do at the first oppor- 

The following is from the published statement of Holland 
Wheeler, already referred to: 

At one time an Indian woman came into the hotel and told 
Quantrill she wanted seven dollars or her saddle. He got the 
saddle for her. ' ' Now, ' ' she says, ' ' where are my ponies ? ' ' He 
said: "I don't know anything about your ponies." "Well," 
she says, "they will be back by to-morrow, or you will have 

Quantrill had stolen this poor Indian woman's saddle and 
riding ponies. She made him produce the saddle and return it. 
Whether she recovered her ponies is not known. The evidence 
is conclusive that Quantrill would rob anybody, man or woman. 

township this county, and for kidnapping. These charges were all pending 
against him when he disappeared from this county, to turn up here again 
on the fateful 21st of August, 1863. He was an outlaw when he took to 
the bush. 


"When Sheriff Walker attempted to arrest him for his many 
crimes, Quantrill fled and took refuge in the wagon-shop of John 
Dean, closing a heavy door as he ran in. Before Walker could 
batter down the door, Dean had concealed 
the criminal. From that day Quantrill 
did not show himself in the streets of 
Lawrence. He forsook, in great meas- 
ure, the ruffians, and cast his lot with 
Dean, Stewart and the other abolitionists 
about Lawrence. 

The Lawrence Tribune says of the 
attempt of Sheriff Walker to capture 
Quantrill for horse-stealing, and his 
escape : 

A warrant for his arrest was placed 
in the hands of Sheriff Walker, but not 
Samuel Walker until Quantrell had by some means 

learned of the indictment, and declared 

that he would never be arrested on the warrant. Sheriff Walker, 
calling George Earl to assist him, soon found Quantrell on Massa- 
chusetts street, but as soon as Quantrell saw him approaching, he 
started down the street upon the run, and bolted into the wagon 
shop of John Dean, closing and barring the door behind him. 
Walker was not long in smashing the door, but Quantrell had 
disappeared, and Walker never set eyes upon him afterwards. 
Stone's City Hotel was carefully searched from top to bottom, 
and every other place in town where it was thought likely he 
could be found, but in vain. 

Years afterward Walker learned from John Dean that Quan- 
trell spent the night following his attempted arrest at the house 
of a man named Reed, the owner of a wholesale liquor store on 
the east side of Massachusetts street, near where the Grange 
Store now is, known as the "Checkered Front" store. Reed's 
dwelling house was a brick building, a little north of where the 
Lawrence House now stands, on Vermont street. That house 
was burned at the time of the "raid," and was never rebuilt. 
In that house Quantrell passed the night, with the Ex-Reverend 
John E. Stewart for a bed fellow. 

There is no reason to suppose that Reed had any suspicion 
whatever of the true character of his guest, but Stewart knew 
that he was a bad man on general principles. 

Quantrill's career at Lawrence to this period can be sum- 



marized as follows: He was a desperate character, steeped in 
crime. He played a double role with the people in his vicinity 
was a border-ruffian and an ultra, rabid abolitionist. He was 
also playing a double role between his ruffian associates and the 
people of Missouri whom they robbed. And he was playing still 
another double role between Kansas and Missouri. 

Quantrill was making progress on his way to a bloody des- 



WHEN Quantrill fled to Dean's wagon-shop to escape 
arrest for his many crimes, he, in large measure, sev- 
ered his relations with the local border-ruffians. He 
had played out the game. He was under suspicion. His com- 
rades in crime had not come quite to a realization of his treach- 
ery, for in that event he would have been led into the brush and 
promptly shot. Quantrill was cunning and knew exactly how 
far he could carry his double-dealing with the ruffians. He had 
been under suspicion before, but was always able to satisfy his 
ruffian associates that he hung about the abolitionists only in 
the capacity of detective to find out what they were doing, 
that their work might be undone. As he had given his gang 
information often that enabled them to kidnap a free negro or 
rescue a runaway slave from the conductors of the underground 
railroad, his explanation seemed plausible and was accepted. 
But his excuse for deserting them in Missouri on the last raid 
was not well received. They would not follow him again, and 
he knew that he would have to turn to the abolitionists for pro- 
tection. Walker had made ineffectual attempts to arrest Quan- 
trill all summer and fall, and the criminal had saved himself 
by flight and quick dodging. Dean had saved him more than 
once, and he fled to Stewart's fort upon more than one occa- 
sion. Long before the last raid into Missouri Quantrill was an 
outlaw, a skulking fugitive from justice, and he realized that it 
would be impossible for him to remain much longer at Lawrence 
in any capacity. He lingered only to consummate the plans he 
had been developing all summer for his master-stroke, then he 
would cast his lot with the border-ruffians of Missouri and make 
a new deal and prey upon the people of Kansas exclusively. 
These were his plans, and he hoped they would materialize. His 
intention was to take some very prominent man to Missouri and 


betray him to death in order that he might bound into promi- 
nence and become a hero. But he saw that this would be impos- 
sible when he fled to Dean's wagon-shop. He gave up Captain 
Stewart and went to work to get any one he could and as 
many as possible. 

It was said that Quantrill had planned to assassinate a num- 
ber of his associates at Lawrence, then flee to Missouri. Failing 
in this, he planned to take them to Missouri on a predatory foray 
and there have them killed the conception which finally devel- 
oped into the Morgan Walker Raid. There is some documentary 
evidence to sustain this. 1 

Quantrill was well known to Dean. Indeed, Dean says 
Quantrill brought letters of introduction to him from people 
living about Stanton and Osawatomie, so the acquaintance must 
have dated from the arrival of Quantrill at Lawrence in the 
spring of I860. 2 

1 In addition to the foregoing statement, the Kansas Historical So- 
ciety has among its manuscripts seven different letters, in all about forty- 
eight pages, from John M. Dean to Joseph Savage, dated Waukon, Alla- 
makee county, Iowa, written during the year 1879. Under date of June 
8, 1879, in a four-page letter to Savage, is the following: 

About that time, August, 1860, Eidenour & Baker's powder-house, 
that stood on the bank of the river, was robbed by some one who lifted 
one corner of the roof. [Samuel A. Eiggs, page 234, 7th volume, says he 
prosecuted Quantrill, alias Hart, for this.] In talking the thing over, 
Quantrill said he knew where that powder was stored under a haystack 
down at Jake McGee's, and the intention was to use it when the collision 
came, and use it for the Southern interest, and that he (Quantrill) would 
be only too glad to see the stack burned and the powder destroyed, and 
would go with us any night and do the job. Without telling him, we went 
down there one night and inspected every stack, by taking steel ramrods to 
muskets and probing through every stack, but found nothing. The next day 
Quantrill was in my shop talking about it, and I asked him many ques- 
.tions, and finally told him he was mistaken, for I had been there, searched 
well, and found nothing. He said he was not mistaken, had seen the powder 
in its place of deposit, and would be only too glad to take me and the 
boys there and prove the thing. To end the controversy, I agreed to go 
with him that night, and eight of us did get ready but did not go. After 
Walker's raid, I learned the fact that, if we had gone, few, if any, of us 
would have escaped, for there was a heavy ambushing party waiting to 
receive us, of which Quantrill was one. Kansas Historical Collections, 
Vol. VIII, p. 329. 

2 Dean came to Kansas from Iowa. Little is known of him. He had 
a wagon-shop in Lawrence and was an earnest anti-slavery man of the im- 
practicable and visionary type. He was bombastic, theoretical, bigoted. 


While Quantrill usually boarded at the hotel kept by Nathan 
Stone when in Lawrence, he lived for a time in the home of 
Dean. When Dean would question him concerning his asso- 
ciating with Jake Herd and the McGees, Quantrill would declare 
that he was doing so in the capacity of detective that he was 
trying to discover their plans that he might thwart them. The 

self-important. He was shallow, and he believed he was accomplishing 
great things at Lawrence in 1860. He contributed nothing to the cause 
of freedom in Kansas, but he left the state and returned to Iowa honest- 
ly thinking that he had contrived and executed much of the work of saving 
Kansas. Dean was a braggart and a boaster, and he was an arrant coward. 
A number of his labored, heavy, windy, ridiculous letters are in the 
Collection of the author. In one of them he asserts that Governor Clai- 
borne F. Jackson, of Missouri, had offered a reward of $5,000 in gold 
for his head something wholly improbable. But where he had knowledge 
of a matter his statements bear the stamp of truth, and I regard his 
letters as good authority, though they are embellished with fanaticism 
and egotism. There is, also, in the Collection of the author a paper en- 
titled, "John Dean's Statement to W. W. Scott of Canal Dover in Reply 
to Interrogatories," typewritten from an original now in the library of 
the Kansas Historical Society. In this paper Dean says: 

I first met William C. Quantrill in Lawrence in the early spring 
of 1860. He was introduced to me by one Ingersoll, a lawyer. My inter- 
view with him in Ingersoll 's office was of about two hour's duration. He 
showed me many recommends, etc. ; said he had been teaching school all 
the past winter in Lykins county; said he had often heard of me as a 
strong anti-slavery man that was running off slaves from Missouri, and 
wanted to unite himself with me in that business and do all he could to 
help along the cause. 

My first impression of Quantrill under those conditions was not 
favorable, and I said so to him at the time. Still he insisted upon proving 
himself "by work" true to the anti-slavery cause. 

He made Lawrence, Kansas, his "headquarters" from early spring of 
1860 until November of same year, having no particular legitimate busi- 
ness and doing nothing but mixing and meddling with the slavery question 
upon both sides. When asked why he associated so much with the other 
side, his reply was, to learn their secrets. He was continually trying to 
complete some "plot" that would "work all right." 

While in Lawrence he was a very frequent visitor to my workshop, 
and was persistent in his efforts to gain my confidence and knowledge of 
my plans and doings. 

In a letter to W. W. Scott, dated Waukon, Allamakee county, Iowa, 
Jan. 26, 1879, now in the Collection of the author, Dean says: 

I met Quantrell as a now known spie and assassin, working in connec- 
tion with many others for reward of Earth. He was a sensitive, falsely 
polerized, or polerized to Evil Your description of him was fair but not 
positively correct or sharply drawn. He was some taller not less than 
5-10 we have stood back to back & compared. I am 5-10% strong and he 


role of detective was a favorite one with Quantrill. He made it 
hide his participation in many crimes. 

There are of record few incidents in which Dean and Quan- 
trill were associated. Dean says (in a letter) that he knew of 
but one raid which Quantrill made into Missouri the Morgan 
Walker Raid. This shows how little Dean really knew of Quan- 
trill's actions. But Dean and Quantrill acted together in the 
Allen Pinks affair. 

Allen Pinks was a free negro who came to Missouri from 
Pittsburg, Pa. He was a mulatto of less than one-half negro 
blood, his grandmother having been, as he claimed, a German 
woman. He was a barber and a cook on a steamboat in 1859. 
He was discharged at St. Joseph, and, in company with some 

less than % inch shorter. I never knew of his having a picture taken his 
eyes were uncommonly large and full, he was quite talkative at times. 
Very pleasant as a studied rule, laughing & joking, not a loud boisterous 
laugh, but a rolling, rippling, quiet laugh. He was acting the spie in his 
connection with me and of course much of his seeming character was 
"put on." 

There was a reward of $5000. in gold on my life at that time, of- 
fered by Gov Clabe Jackson of Mo. for I was doing all I could then on 
the Under ground E E. or freeing slaves, he bought his introduction to 
me through one professed rabid Anti slavery Lawyer by the name of Inger- 
soll at the time showing me letters & recommends from men then residing 
in Lykins Co. I will say to you that he never had my full confidence. 
I was always on my guard and many of his plots misscarried in consequence. 
What time he was spending around Lawrence was in one way active he 
was very temperate as I now remember, but did at last, or about 1861 begin 
to have his little times of a drink or two, did not use tobacco in any way 
as I remember, but was given to the worship of women somewhat, his 
time was spent much with those lawless and reckless neer do wells that 
abound in such times and places. When asked why he did associate with 
such characters, he claimed to be spieing their plans, with the intention 
of doing good and was often telling of some scheme of theirs to kidnap 
colored people to sell again, and in the carrying out of one of these plots 
he got himself and his pro-slavery friends indicted by the Grand jury of 
Lawrence and I escaped the snair that was laid in the plot. 

In a letter to Samuel Walker, dated Waukon, Allamakee county, Iowa, 
July 3, 1879, now in the Collection of the author, Dean says of Quantrill: 

Quantrells occupation while living at and near Lawrence, was that 
of a "spie" or detective in the interests of Slavery, and it may possibly 
be of the then Gov't. One of the Coppic boys that was at "Harpers 
Ferry" with old John Brown, was in "Kansas", and some with me about 
that time, and the U. S. Gov't was looking for him. After the mask had 
been removed and the light of truth let in to those heretofore uncertain 
matters, there could be no other conclusion than that Quantrell was acting 
the part of detective or spie in the pay or interests of the South, and put 
his time in in the best way to "make", not always governed in his actions 
by the plumb line of "right". 


white man, he set out to walk to Leavenworth, but was appre- 
hended at the Rialto Ferry and carried to Platte City, Mo., 
and cast into jail. He finally made his escape and went to 

3 Dr. John Doy found Allen Pinks in jail at Platte City and left this 
of record concerning him, in Chapter XII of his little book: 

He was quite a light colored mulatto, of about twenty years of age, 
born at Pittsburg, in Pennsylvania; his grandmother being a German wo- 
man, as he informed me. He had been cook and head waiter on board of 
steamboats on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and had last been paid 
off at St. Joseph, Missouri. From there he started for Leavenworth, walk- 
ing down the Missouri bank of the river with a white man, who had been 
on board the steamboat with him. At the Eialto Ferry, he was stopped 
by the Ferryman on suspicion of being a fugitive slave, and lodged in 
Weston calaboose till he was transferred to Platte City jail. 

Thinking his free papers were wearing out, he had left them with a 
free colored wagon-builder at Independence, Missouri. As it was for the 
interest of those concerned in detaining him, that he should not prove him- 
self free, he could get no one to send to Independence, though only thirty 
miles distant, and ascertain whether his assertions were true or false. . . . 

To finish Pinks' story, I will state that, after my rescue from the 
hands of the Missourians, expecting an attempt to recapture me, I was 
fortified at Mr. Stearns' brick block, in the centre of Lawrence, for nearly 
a month. 

One morning about five o'clock, I was called by Mr. Stearns, who in- 
formed me that a rough-looking man, who said he was from Platte City, was 
asking for Dr. Doy at the front door. I looked out from my upper window 
and whom should I see but Allen Pinks. He was nearly naked, having 
nothing on but shirt and trowsers, and those almost torn to pieces. When 
let in, he accounted for his dilapidated appearance, by saying that he had 
traveled a bee line from Platte City, and having been in somewhat of a 
hurry, had not paid sufficient respect to the thorns and briers he met with. 
He had swum the Missouri River above Leavenworth and come into 
Lawrence through the Delaware Reserve begged a passage over Kaw 
River, and finally arrived in safety at the city of refuge. 

We bound up and healed his cut and swollen legs and feet, and sent 
to Pittsburg, Penn., for his free papers. They reached us 14th September, 
1859, and were supported by the affidavits of Mr. Wm. McArthur and Dr. 
F. G. Gallaher, of Pittsburg, who had known Pinks from birth. When they 
came, I said to him, "Pinks, I've got something for you." 

'What is it, doctor!" 
. 'Your free papers." 

'You don't seem to care much: aren't you gladt" 
'Why should I be? What good will they do me? Haven't we seen 
plenty of free papers torn up and burnt in Platte City jail?" 

And Pinks was right. A colored man's free papers are not worth one 
red cent to him in the border towns of Missouri, even if he carries them 
with him and has them registered in every town on the river in which he 
works. . . . Free-born men are kidnapped and sold into hopeless slavery. 
^ Allen Pinks is now employed in the Johnson House at Lawrence, is 
considered one of the best and steadiest hands there, but says he had had 
sufficient experience of the blessings of freedom for colored men in thia 


There was a kidnapper living in Lawrence by the name of 
Bob Wilson. Wilson was operating with Dean, Stewart, and 
others having in charge the underground railroad, though like 
Quantrill, he had the full confidence of Jake Herd and the 
McGees and often joined them in kidnapping forays. It is a 
strange thing that most of the ruffians and kidnappers living in 
Kansas would join the underground railroad agents in raids into 
Missouri to get slaves for freedom, but often they would kidnap 
these same slaves after they had assisted in bringing them into 
Kansas, then return them to their owners for the reward or sell 
them again into slavery. 

Allen Pinks came finally to turn against his own people. 
This was probably at the instance of Wilson and Quantrill who 
used him in their business of kidnapping. Pinks began to act 
as a decoy to run free negroes and fugitive slaves into the 
clutches of Quantrill, Jake Herd, and Wilson. The real aboli- 
tionists, such as Stewart and Dean, when they were satisfied 
that Pinks had turned traitor to them and to the negro people, 
decided that he must be put to death. Quantrill and Wilson 
were assigned to the work of killing him. These worthies saw 
rank waste in murdering him, when the same end might be 
accomplished by kidnapping him and selling him into slavery. 
They decided to kidnap Pinks and carry him to some slave 
market. Pinks was then running a barber-shop in Lawrence. 
Wilson lived about where the present Santa Fe passenger sta- 
tion is now located. That part of Lawrence was then covered 
with a thick growth of hazel brush and tangled vines, through 
which were cut narrow lanes. Wilson lived in a small one-story 
frame house of two rooms. He went to Pinks and engaged him 
to go to his house to dress his wife's hair, pretending that she 
was sick, or had been sick, and was unable to attend to her hair. 

Union, especially in the state of Missouri. That state did indeed, keep him 
for three months without any charge for rent or board, but as, if he had 
stayed one month more, he would have been sold at the auction block like a 
beast, he prefers not to try her hospitality again. 

In the statement of Holland Wheeler, referred to before, it is stated 
that Allen Pinks was shot by an enraged mob of his own people at Leaven- 
worth. He turned kidnapper himself, and caused many free negroes to be 
kidnapped and sold into slavery. 


It took some persuasion to get Pinks to go, for he was guilty and 
scary. When Pinks went into the house, a hack or closed car- 
riage drove up, two kidnappers alighted from it, and they went 
one of them to each of the doors of the room where Pinks was 
beginning work on Mrs. Wilson 's hair. Pinks knew in a moment 
what was up, for he had devised traps for negroes himself. He 
ran into the next room, pursued by Wilson, and escaped from 
the house by a small window and got into the thickets of hazel 
brush. He was searched for but not found. 

Dean was much chagrined when he found that Pinks was 
not murdered, as he supposed he would be by Quantrill and 
Wilson, and he may have entertained suspicions of their good 
faith in the matter. In any event, he decided to take no further 
chances ; he determined to kill Pinks himself. It is claimed that 
Dean had been associated in some matters with Pinks for which 
he was liable to be prosecuted and wished him put out of the way 
at once, which was an additional motive for Dean's action. 
There was a public well hi Lawrence, and one day when Pinks 
was drinking from the bucket on the curb of this well, Dean, 
from concealment, shot him in the back of the head with a small 
rifle. The thickness of the negro's skull saved his life. The 
rifle-ball glanced on the skull and ran around just under the 
skin and lodged in his forehead. Seeing that he had failed to 
kill Pinks, in the excitement Dean escaped and fled to Stewart's 
fort and acquainted Stewart with the facts in the case, and it 
was given out there that Dean had been in the fort nearly all 
day and was not in Lawrence when Pinks was shot. 

Concerning the opinion held by some that Dean and Quan- 
trill tried to kill Pinks to prevent him from appearing against 
them as witness in kidnapping cases, it is enough to say that Quan- 
trill did not wish to kill him, but to kidnap him and sell him, 
while Dean would not have taken any part in a kidnapping. In 
his fanaticism for abolitionism he could have killed Pinks for 
being a traitor to the negro people and the holy cause, but there 
is no evidence whatever that Dean was a kidnapper. He was a 
true abolitionist and an enthusiastic agent of the underground 

Dean was afterward, at his own solicitation, arrested and 


thrown into jail at Lawrence for the attempt to murder Pinks. 
There were many other incidents in the life of Quantrill at 
Lawrence as Charley Hart of the same nature as those set out 
herein. But the details are very difficult to secure and verify. 
Enough has been shown to reveal his true character. The climax 
of his criminal career in Kansas was reached in December, 1860, 
in the Morgan "Walker raid/ 

4 Among the newspaper clippings in the Collection of the author, re- 
lating to Quantrill and his career, is one from the Kansas City Journal, 
written by the Lawrence correspondent of that paper. Unfortunately, the 
date of the publication of this article is lost. It, however, gives the facts 
in the matter of the residence of Quantrill at Lawrence and his relations 
to the people there during the time, and it is given here: 

Quantrell first came to Lawrence in 1858 and remained until 1861, 
and from the time he came till he left he boarded at what was then the 
Whitney House, kept by Mr. Stone, now known as the Derfee House. Mr. 
Stone, the proprietor, and Quantrell became fast friends and were together 
a good deal. During his stay here he was treated with kindness by the 
citizens, who never at any time offered him any violence, although it 
was a notorious fact that, together with two or three others, he was in 
the habit of going to some slave-holding state to steal slaves, which were 
brought to this county and kept at a rendezvous at a place near where 
the poor farm is now located. When the owners of the stolen slaves would 
offer rewards for their return, Quantrell and his associates would take them 
back and secure the rewards. ... It was not till January of 1861 that 
he took his departure. In that month the grand jury had been having a 
session at Lecompton, and among other indictments had found a true bill 
against Quantrell for stealing horses from the Kickapoo Indians. Stone, 
his friend, of the Whitney House, was a member of the grand jury which 
found the bill against him. Col. Walker was United States Marshal at 
the time, and the warrants for the arrest of Quantrell were placed in his 
hands. Old man Stone told Quantrell that warrants were out for his 
arrest, and the latter prepared himself to make resistance. He went into 
Duncan's hardware store, where he procured a couple of pistols and loaded 
them, in anticipation of an attempt to arrest him. He appeared to be 
greatly excited, and stepping out to the edge of the sidewalk, with both 
pistols drawn, he swore several good round oaths that he would not be 
taken. Col. Walker at that time was not a man to be easily intimidated, 
so, in company with a little man named Geo. Earle, he approached Quan- 
trell to serve his warrants. The latter, not appearing to relish a fight as 
much as one would have supposed from his violence, turned and incontinent- 
ly fled, without firing a shot. Walker and Earle followed close after, firing 
several shots, but missing him, till at last he ran into a wagon shop kept 
by John Deane, on what is now a vacant lot next to Apitz's harness shop. 
Deane was also a friend of his, and therefore shut the door and locked it 
in the marshal's face. It was broken down, however, but not before 
Quantrell had had time to escape from the back door. Search was diligently 
made at the Whitney House, but to no purpose, and it was afterwards 
learned that he had been secreted in a brick house not far from there, 
where he also had friends. The remaining facts of his departure were 
learned from a letter written by Deane to Col. Walker after several years 


had passed. The next night after the circumstances related above had 
transpired, old Stone furnished a wagon, and Deane and four other young 
men went along with Quantrell to pilot and protect him through the state 
and over the line into Missouri. The next evening they camped in the 
woods near Independence, worn and hungry, with their long day's ride. 
Here it was decided that Quantrell should go to the house of Judge Walker, 
which was in the neighborhood, and steal some eggs for supper. Instead 
of doing this he went to Judge Walker and others, relating the pretended 
robberies which these men had committed, and offering to betray their 
hiding place. In this act the devil in his nature cropped out with greater 
distinctness than ever before. With the full knowledge of the hardships 
which these young men had undergone with the sole purpose of befriending 
him, he led a posse of men upon them, and with his own hands blew out 
the brains of two who had never done him aught but kindness. Two others 
were killed by the posse, but Deane, though shot in the heel, managed to 
escape, though not till he had been an eye witness of the villainous murder 
by Quantrell of his two friends. This is the true story of his departure 
from Lawrence. Deane afterwards returned to Lawrence, where he was 
immediately arrested by Col. Walker for assisting Quantrell to escape, and 
was confined in the jail here until the war broke out in earnest, when he 
was, together with the other inmates of the jail, enlisted in Col. Walker's 

Quantrell was regarded by all who knew him while in Lawrence as a 
consummate coward and perfectly unprincipled. He never looked a man 
square in the eye, nearly always going with his eyes bent toward the ground, 
and always lowering his head when he saw any one look him in the face. 
The statement that he raided Lawrence because his brother was killed 
here, or that he was mistreated by the citizens, bears not a word of truth. 
No brother of his ever lived here or in the state. On the morning he ar- 
rived on his errand of death one of his first inquiries was: "Where does 
Col. Sam Walker live?" His motive for his raid through Kansas was simply 
plunder, with perhaps some personal spite. 

The details of the trip to Morgan Walker's are not properly set out 
in this article. Old man Stone did furnish Deane with a wagon to drive 
to the house of Walker in Jackson county, but William Partridge had taken 
his wagon and carried the men of the party to Osawatomie, from which 
point it was intended to go into the Cherokee Nation and bring out some 
slaves to be taken to Canada over the underground railroad. At Osawat- 
omie the Cherokee trip was abandoned, largely through the influence of 
Captain Ely Snyder, and then the trip to Jackson county to rob Walker was 
planned by Quantrill. Some of the party would not go on the Walker 
trip, and it was necessary to rearrange all the plans of the expedition. 
As Partridge had gone away with his wagon and none could be had at 
Osawatomie, Captain Snyder refusing to furnish his, Deane returned to 
Lawrence and secured Stone's wagon and drove it to the Walker farm to 
meet and aid Quantrill and the others to get away with the slaves. The 
whole story will be found in the following chapters. 



IT IS necessary to introduce the characters of this fatal expe- 
dition in detail. They were principally members of a settle- 
ment of Quakers from Springdale, Iowa, at Pardee, in Atchi- 
son county, Kansas. 1 

Charles Ball was born at Salem, Ohio, in 1837. He moved 
with his parents to Springdale, Iowa, in 1852. The family was 
poor and suffered the hardships and privations common to a new 
country. Ball attended the common 
schools, and for a time he was at Penn 
College, at Oskaloosa, Iowa. There, in 
addition to his other work, he studied 
drawing, in which he made considerable 
progress. He moved with his parents to 
Kansas in 1857. His sister says he was 
the favorite of the family, affectionate 
and faithful. His parents were Quakers, 
and he was a birthright member of the 
Quaker church. At Pardee, under the 
powerful ministry of Rev. Pardee Butler, 
he united with the Christian church. He 
was a first cousin to the Coppoc brothers 
who went to Harper's Ferry with John Brown. Ball was an 
associate of John Dean and made raids into Missouri to liberate 

Charles Ball 

i Pardee is situated on the southwest quarter of Section 34, Township 
6, Eange 19, Atchison county. It was named for Pardee Butler, the 
famous Free-State Christian minister who was mobbed and set adrift on the 
Missouri at Atchison by the border-ruffians. He lived at Pardee. For 
an account of him and the prominent part he bore in the territorial days, 
see Personal Recollections of Pardee Sutler, Cincinnati, 1889. 



slaves for transportation over the underground railroad. It was 
through Dean that he became acquainted with Quantrill. 2 

Chalkley T. Lipsey was the son of John and Ann Lipsey. 
He was born at Mt. Pleasant, Jefferson county, Ohio, in 1838. 
His parents were Quakers, and he had a birthright membership 
in the Quaker church. In 1844 his parents moved to Columbia 
county, Ohio. He was educated at the Quaker school at Middle- 
ton and at a college at Mt. Union, Ohio. 
He attended college but two years. While 
at Mt. Union he united with the Meth- 
odist church. His sister Anna had mar- 
ried A. L. Taylor, who moved with his 
family to Atchison county, Kansas, in the 
spring of 1857, settling on a claim one 
and three-fourths miles southwest of the 
village of Pardee, on the road leading 
from Atchison to Topeka by way of Grass- 
hopper Falls. In the summer of 1857 
Lipsey went to Kansas, stopping there 
with his sister. There he united with the 
Christian church of which Rev. Pardee 
Butler was pastor. He worked on the farm and taught a school 
at Pardee. In 1858 he started with a freighting train across 
the Plains, but became ill and was compelled to return home. 
In the spring of 1860 he went in company with two brothers 
named Smith to Pike's Peak to dig gold. This trip was a fail- 
ure so far as securing gold was concerned, and he and another 
Pike's Peaker walked back to Atchison county. They were al- 
most famished, had suffered much from cold, being compelled 
to travel at night to avoid freezing. After his return he went 
west on a buffalo hunt to the country beyond the Blue river. 
And when he returned, he went on the fatal raid to Morgan 
Walker's. He seems never to have been previously in any raid 
into Missouri to liberate slaves. His sisters say he was never out 
of Kansas after his arrival in the Territory, except on the Pike's 

2 Statement of Eev. J. J. Lutz and letters of E. L. Harris to Lutz 
now in the Collection of the author. Also article by Lutz in Midland 
Monthly, Des Moines, Iowa, June, 1897. 

Chlldey T. Lipey 


Peak trip, until he went on the fatal raid with Quantrill. And 
they did not know of his having lived in the cabin with Harris, 
Morrison, Ball, and Southwick, though he may have done so. 
He may have gone to Iowa with a cargo of slaves, but the proba- 
bility is that he did not do so. His sympathy was with the 
slaves, and he aided those who passed through Pardee or were 
assisted to reach that place. There is no evidence that he ever 
saw Quantrill until he met him to go on the raid which ended at 
Morgan Walker's. It is not known that he previously knew 
John Dean, though Dean says Morrison, Ball, and Lipsey were 
his men. 3 

Edwin S. Morrison was born April 16, 1839. His birth- 
place was either Rutland county, Vermont, or Erie county, 
New York. His ancestors went from Aberdeen, Scotland, to 
Londonderry, Ireland, and from thence to Londonderry, N. H. 
From that point his great-grandfather moved to Rutland county, 
Vermont, from which place his father moved to Erie county, 
New York, where it is probable that his son was born. In 1853 
the family moved to Springdale, Iowa. He was a birthright 
member of the Quaker church, his ancestors having been Quakers 
for generations. He had a common-school education and was 
industrious, sturdy, faithful, quiet, and honest. He came to 
Kansas in 1859 in company with his cousin, Albert Southwick, 
Albert Negus, and his wife Martha. Mrs. Negus was the daugh- 
ter of Benjamin Ball and sister to Charles Ball. Morrison and 
Southwick were carpenters, and they built a dwelling for Negus, 
on his claim, one mile south of Pardee, Atchison county. 4 

Albert Southwick was born in Ohio in 1837. His parents 
were Quakers, and they moved to Springdale, Iowa, about the 
year 1852. He came to Kansas with his cousin, Edwin S. Mor- 
rison, in the company of Albert Negus, early in 1859. They all 
settled near Pardee. Southwick started on the raid which ended 
at Morgan Walker's, but at Osawatomie he was persuaded to 

3 Letters of E. Anna Taylor and Mrs. Charles L. Trueblood to Rev. 
J. J. Lutz, dated at Springdale, Iowa, in 1897, now in the Collection of 
the author. Also article in Midland Monthly, by Lutz, June, 1897. 

4 Letters of D. B. Morrison, Springdale, Iowa, 1897, to Eev. J. J. 
Lutz, now in the Collection of the author. Also article by Lutz in the 
Midland Monthly, Des Moines, Iowa, June, 1897. 




Albert Southwick 

abandon it, and Elias Snyder believes that he remained there 
with Captain Ely Snyder until it was 
known that Quantrill had betrayed his 
companions to death. He afterward said 
that he had been at Walker's in the raid, 
and that he returned there in the capacity 
of spy to get the particulars of the trag- 
edy. There is little probability that he 
ever went back to Walker's. It is possi- 
ble, and even probable, that he slipped 
away from Snyder to go with Dean in 
the wagon to aid Quantrill at Morgan 
Walker's farm. He seems to have been 
of very limited intelligence and somewhat 
unbalanced. He served in the 10th Kan- 
sas during the Civil War, after which he lived in Salina, Kan- 
sas, where he was in the coal business. He moved to Kansas 
City, Mo., and there died about the year 1893. His statements 
concerning the Walker raid are incoherent and conflicting.* 

Ransom L. Harris was born in Addison county, Vermont, 
in 1842. His parents were Quakers, and they moved to Spring- 
dale, Iowa, in 1852. He had a common-school education. Har- 
ris says he came to Kansas in March, 1859, for the purpose of 
liberating slaves to go out over the underground railroad. He 
settled at Pardee. In Iowa he had known Ball, Morrison, and 
others who engaged in this business, but became acquainted with 
Lipsey in Kansas. He was in the 10th Kansas, and in May, 
1863, General James H. Lane made him first lieutenant in the 
First Colored regiment. He was wounded at the battle at 
Poison Springs, and was discharged for disability. Returning 
to Iowa, he became a physician. 6 

s Letters of E. Anna Taylor and Mrs. Charles L. Trueblood to Eev. 
J. J. Lutz, now in the Collection of the author. Also article by Lutz in the 
Midland Monthly, Des Moines, Iowa, June, 1897. 

There is a long statement made by the sisters, Taylor and True- 
blood, of what Southwick told them of the raid; this statement is in the 
Collection of the author. 

6 Letters of R. L. Harris to Eev. J. J. Lutz, dated in 1897, at Audu- 
bon, Iowa, now in the Collection of the author. Also the article of Lutz in 


In Springdale, Iowa, Charles Ball, Morrison, Lipsey, South- 
wick, and others were members of a secret lodge which had been 
organized to forward the freedom of slaves. In the lodge the 
whole subject of operating the underground railroad was con- 
stantly under discussion. The members of this lodge were able 
to maintain themselves in a high degree of excitement by attend- 
ing the meetings of another lodge, debating society, or "Con- 
gress." In the winter of 1857-58 John Brown stationed his men 
at Springdale. He directed that they form a "Congress" in 
which to discuss all features of the slavery question. In this 
body the whole slave-system, its actions, the attitude of all par- 
ties toward it, its probable fate, were discussed with great earn- 
estness and considerable eloquence by John Brown's men. Some 
of the citizens joined in the debates, and when John Brown was 
at Springdale he was always present at the meetings and took 
part in the discussions. Stevens, Kagi, Realf, and others were 
splendid speakers, and they kept the enthusiasm of the young 
men at white heat. This was the real cause of their moving to 
Kansas and their settlement at Pardee.? 

the Midland Monthly. Lutz submitted a long list of questions to Harris 
concerning the Walker raid, and these were answered by Harris. Ques- 
tions and answers are now in the Collection of the author. The document 
contains conflicting statements and assertions which are at variance from 
known facts. Harris says Southwick was in the Morgan Walker raid. 

7 It will be remembered that in the winter of -57 & 8, John Brown and 
his men were in rendezvous in Springdale, or near this village. Among 
these men were Eealf, Cook, Kagi. These three were gifted men with high 
attainments and acquirements, and among these were grand oratorical 
powers. We had at that time what we termed a mock Legislature, where 
all most vital questions of the day were discussed. Among which were the 
Mo. Compromise; the fugitive slave laws; the chief Judge Taney decision; 
and the outrages perpetrated on the free state men in bleeding Kansas, &c, 
&c. These three men became members and took an active part in the de- 
bates. The two first were brilliant men and could hold a crowded house 
almost spell-bound. They were just from bleeding Kansas and were no 
doubt justly inflamed against the Missourians for dreadful outrages per- 
petrated on the free state men of Kansas. Kagi, though not so brilliant 
as the others was in my humble opinion the man of the greatest mental 
depth and breadth of all the party, in fact these three men were all the 
mental superiors of Old John Brown himself. John Brown impressed me 
as a sturdy, honest man with the courage of conviction and made of the 
same stuff that martyrs are made of. However these boys listened to 
these debates, and the tales of horror related by them of bleeding Kansas, 
as they also read of them in the daily papers as they appeared in flaming 
headlines. And there and then I make no doubt the lattent fires of their 


Immediately upon their arrival in Kansas, Ball, Morrison, 
and Southwick organized a secret lodge to arrange for the trans- 
portation of rescued or escaped slaves over the underground 
railroad. 8 They lived in a little log cabin, 12 by 14 feet, on the 
claim of Benjamin Ball, "keeping bach" there. They worked 
at farming or other occupations during the day, and at night 
they discussed the ways and means successfully to invade Mis- 
souri to secure slaves to take to Canada. There is little doubt 
that John Dean (who came to Kansas from Iowa) was well 
known to these young men, and, being blatant and insistent, 
impressed them as a great champion of human rights. One suc- 
cessful raid was made by them into Missouri under the leader- 
ship of Dean and Stewart. Some ten or twelve slaves were se- 
cured, and these were delivered over to the "underground" at 
Springdale, where some of them live to this day others being 
taken on to Canada. This raid was made in the summer of 1860, 
but is not identified, and it is not known from what part of Mis- 
souri the slaves were taken.' 

Harris says that Quantrill visited the cabin where these 
boys lived that he came there once during the summer (1860) 
but that he was absent at the time and did not see him. Mrs. 

love for justice and humanity -were kindled, and they determined to lend 
a helping hand to make Kansas a free state. I think that most men on the 
higher planes of thought and feeling recognize at times a conflict between 
human enactments and that higher law of their being; and so reserve the 
right to owe their highest allegiance to the higher law, and suffer the 
human penalties. And I believe these to have been in the main the thoughts 
and feelings that actuated these young men. From letter of D. B. Morri- 
son to Eev. J. J, Luis, Springdale, Iowa, April S, 1897, now in the Collec- 
tion of the author. 

8 Statement of E. L. Harris in a letter to Rev. J. J. Lutz, dated 
Audubon, Iowa, March 3, 1897, now in the Collection of the author. 

9 Statement of Eev. J. J. Lutz now in the Collection of the author. 
Lutz obtained his information from the family of Ball, which he visited 
for that purpose. In the list of questions and answers Harris had this 
raid confused with that to Morgan Walker's, in all probability. The 
Morrisons question the presence of Harris at the Pardee settlement of 
Springdale Quakers. But he was there, no doubt. His dates are wholly 
unreliable and some of his statements are wild, but he pretty well describes 
the preparations made for the Walker raid, though he has it in May, 
1857 about the time in 1860 that the first raid was made and in which 
the slaves were secured that were taken to Springdale. 



Taylor says her brother, Lipsey, spoke of Charley Hart. He 
must have visited the cabin frequently during the summer of 
1860, but the first acquaintance with him was doubtless at Law- 
rence through Dean. Southwick says it was at Lawrence. 10 

It was necessary for Quantrill to get out of Kansas quickly. 
He had made up his mind to do so. It was his desire to make a 
master-stroke in getting out, but the caution of Stewart made it 
impossible to pilot him to his death at Morgan Walker's. This 
Walker raid had cost Quantrill much time and pains ; he had set 
his heart on it. It seemed that he must give it up and escape 
to Missouri in his favorite role of detective. But the devil cares 
for his own, and the fates threw into bloody hands the active 
anti-slavery members of the Springdale Quaker settlement at 
Pardee. An expedition for slaves was planned, and its failure 
gave Quantrill the opportunity he had so long desired and so 
persistently waited for. 

The expedition was planned at Lawrence. Three Cherokee 
refugee slaves were at Springdale, Iowa. It is not known that 
they had ever been sent on to Canada, but it is believed they 
had been, and that they had returned from Canada to Spring- 
dale. In any event, they came from Springdale to the Quaker 
settlement at Pardee. Their object was to secure assistance 
to enable their relatives who were still slaves in the Cherokee 
Nation to escape and return with them to Springdale or to 
Canada. Their appeal to the Quakers at Pardee met with a 
ready response, and Ball, Morrison, Southwick, and Lipsey went 
with them to Lawrence. These negroes were William Thomp- 
son, John Thompson, his brother, and John Martin. 11 

10 Statement given to Rev. J. J. Lutz by Mrs. Martha Negus, now 
in the Collection of the author. 

" These negroes remained at Osawatomie. When the Civil War began 
the Thompsons went into the Union army at Fort Scott as teamsters. 
They served until the war closed, part of the time as enlisted men. Martin 
lived at Osawatomie until about 1890, when he moved to Garnett, where 
he afterwards died. This information was given me by Elias Snyder, who 
lives near Osawatomie, and who is the son of Captain Ely Snyder, and 
who knows the facts. The author visited Mr. Snyder on the 18th day of 
October, 1907, and secured from him a long statement covering many 
Territorial subjects. These Cherokee refugees are mentioned also in a 


The expedition was carefully planned. It was to go into 
the Cherokee Nation and rescue and bring out the relatives of 
Martin and the Thompsons and as many other slaves as possi- 
ble. Men enough for the purpose could not be secured at Law- 
rence because of the great distance to be traveled and the dan- 
ger to be incurred in operating so far away from home. It was 
supposed that additional men could be had at Osawatomie; the 
first stage of the invasion ended there with the effort to enlist 
the men necessary to its success. Those who arrived at Osa- 
watomie from Lawrence were Quantrill, Dean, Morrison, Ball, 
Southwick, Lipsey, John S. Jones who went under the name of 
"Mr. Baker," 12 and the three Cherokee negroes. 

Quantrill preceded the others of the party, arriving at Osa- 
watomie some days before they appeared. He registered as 
Charley Hart at the old hotel kept by Gears, but he was so well 
known there that he deceived no one. It is remembered that at 
Osawatomie he was sometimes called "Ed Hart," and he made 
hs headquarters at the postoffice, where there was a pro-slavery 

After Quantrill had been gone some days the others of the 

letter of Captain Ely Snyder to G. A. Colton, dated Osawatomie, Feb. 14, 
1883, now in the Collection of the author. 

There is some reason to believe that Quantrill wag in hiding when 
the Pardee party arrived at Lawrence on the way to the Cherokee Nation, 
and that John Dean, knowing his whereabouts, sent him an invitation to 
join the party. The following extract from the Lawrence Tribune sup- 
ports this view: 

Early the next morning before the people were astir Quantrell 
was furnished with a day's provisions and a bottle of whisky, and got 
safely out of town to a snug place in the timber, two or three miles north- 
west from Lawrence, where he kindled a small fire and spent the day alone. 
That night a party of five young men, all reckless and enthusiastic 
Abolitionists, took Quantrell into a wagon and started for Missouri. Their 
object was doubtless to help off some slaves and send them on to freedom 
in Canada, via Lawrence and Nebraska. 

This was the day after Sheriff Walker had attempted to arrest 
Quantrill and he ran into Dean's shop. 

12 When the Civil War began Jones enlisted in the 5th Kansas under 
his correct name. He enlisted as a private in Company H, October 13, 
1861; discharged at Fort Leavenworth, Dec. 11, 1864. He re-enlisted in 
the Hancock Corps. Authority: statement of Elias Snyder and the re- 
port of the adjutant general of Kansas. 


party left Lawrence for Osawatomie, though they said they 
were going on a buffalo hunt. They employed William Part- 
ridge to haul them in his wagon. They traveled west from 
Lawrence two days, then turned south, then went east to Osa- 
watomie. This roundabout course was selected by Dean, who 
was the leader of the party, and who doubtless supposed he was 
displaying great generalship and fooling people. 1 3 Still further 
to show his genius as slave-stealer, Dean would not recognize 
Quantrill when he first arrived with the wagon-party, nor allow 
the others of the party to do so, pretending never to have seen 
Quantrill before, meeting him as an entire stranegr and gradu- 
ally working up an acquaintance with him. Dean was known to 
Captain Ely Snyder, and after his arrival he laid his whole 
scheme before Snyder and others and requested their aid. 
Snyder immediately condemned the expedition as impracticable 
and refused to have anything to do with it. Dean then took 
Quantrill to Snyder, saying that Quantrill believed the invasion 
of the Cherokee Nation feasible and had consented to be one of 
the invaders. Snyder quickly told Dean that he knew Quantrill 

13 I left Lawrence in November, 1860, to build houses on a govern- 
ment contract for the Sac and Fox Indians on the Marais des Cygnes, near 
where Quenemo is now situated. After I had been there a few weeks I 
was aroused one night by some one calling my name aloud. On going out 
I found the caller to be William Partridge, of Lawrence, whom I knew 
to be a reliable abolitionist. He wanted to know if he could stop with me 
a few days. I told him he could. After the team was cared for, I in- 
quired how long since he left Lawrence, etc. He replied he had been out 
some days, and volunteered the statement, "I would hear something drop 
soon, ' ' and went on to say that Quantrill and John Dean hired him with 
his team to take them, Charles Ball, and a man that worked for Dean, and 
another man or two I did not know, out on the plains for a buffalo hunt, 
and that after traveling west a couple of days they turned south, and 
later on, east, and finally turned up in southern Kansas, where there were 
known to live some ' ' reliable parties. ' ' At this place there was a con- 
ference of two or three days, and one or two of the original parties dropped 
out and their places filled by others from that community; and he added: 
"I delivered my load where they said they wanted to stop, and I pulled 
out. I guess they will find transportation home all right. ' ' I heard 
nothing further from the expedition for probably ten days, when the word 
came, "All killed but Dean, and he wounded and missing." Dean, how- 
ever, turned up after a few days with a bullet in his foot, and was lodged 
in the Douglas county Jail on some trivial charge made by his friends, 
who evidently considered a Kansas jail preferable to one in Missouri. 
Soon after this the war commenced, and we held no further communication 
with Missouri, and Dean was released. H. S. Clarice, in the Seventh 
Volume, Kansas Historical Collections, pp. 220, 221. 


well and did not trust him at all that Quantrill's reputation 
at Osawatomie was bad. Dean was very reluctant to believe this, 
but Jones (Baker), Southwick, and the negroes were soon con- 
vinced and refused to have anything further to do with Quan- 
trill. The Cherokee invasion was abandoned. 

When the expedition into the Cherokee Nation was given 
up Quantrill began to talk of the Morgan Walker raid. He had 
made up his mind to leave Kansas on that trip. He saw an op- 
portunity to kidnap three lusty refugees and sell them in Mis- 
souri. He made extraordinary efforts to induce the negroes to 
go to Walker's, but they grew more and more suspicious of him 
and his intentions. He told them that they would be of great 
benefit in the raid, as they would prevail on Walker's negroes to 
leave him in a body and to fight if they were pursued. 1 * 

14 Quantrill had made raids into Missouri from Osawatomie in com- 
pany with Jennison and others. He borrowed a pistol once of a party 
who could not go. This pistol he refused to return, saying that he had not 
been given an equitable portion of the loot secured on the raid. He 
called himself Hart sometimes "Ed" Hart and sometimes "Charley" 
Hart when at Osawatomie. Captain Snyder had been on raids into Mis- 
souri with him and had concluded that he was false a traitor. These 
raids were into Cass and Bates counties in Missouri. When Quantrill 
went into Missouri alone he always reported on his return that he had 
been there in the capacity of a detective spy. He always told the 
border-ruffians this same story when questioned as to his association with 
the Free-State men. 

In the Collection of the author are a number of letters written by 
one W. L. Potter to W. W. Scott. Potter was a border-ruffian, a hanger- 
on about the offices of pro-slavery officials, often acting as deputy U. 8. 
marshal, deputy sheriff, deputy jailer, deputy constable. In these letters 
he claimed to have been very intimate with Quantrill, calling him "Bill" 
Quantrill. Potter was a sort of irregular Confederate soldier a sort of 
wandering pirate roving about from one command to another. These 
letters are boastful, egotistical, inaccurate as to dates and incidents (they 
would suit the Eobinson partisans of Kansas exactly, as they claim that 
John Brown was still destroying Missouri in 1861), and they are a dead 
match for those of Dean for involved construction and far surpassing 
Dean's in general rambling and complete failure to come to the point. 
There are streaks of facts in them, however, though mixed with much 
that, to say the least, is wholly untrue. They were written from Harrison, 
Ark., in 1895 and 1896. In one about December, 1896, he gives at great 
length and with many digressions an account of Quantrill's spying on the 


Quantrill finally prevailed over Snyder. The raid to Mor- 
gan Walker's was determined upon, and hopes almost blasted 
were finally to be realized. True, he was to have no prominent 
Kansas characters with him to betray to death, but those he had 
were to him better than to have none at all to murder. *s 

Free-State men. Potter was living at Paola when the matters he describes 
occurred : 

I will take time to make notes of every thing of importance, that I 
can remember concerning, the Brave & Gallant Quantrell. 

There was no officer in the Trans Miss[iss]ippi Department during 
the War, that was admired & Honored by the Confederates as W C Quan- 
trell was. . . . 

It was in the fall of 1860 That a meeting was held up stairs of the 
Union Hotel in Paola Elan. I was there as well as every one, then Present 
by special invitation. None but those who were known to be opposed to 
the Jay Hawking carried on by Montgomery Jennison & Ossawatomie 
Brown, or John Brown & their followers, were admitted, or knew of our 
Meeting. The following citizens of Paola to my certain knowledge were 
Present some of whom are still living Dr W D Hoover now in Paola & 
Geo W. Miller Ex circuit Judge of Denver Colorado The rest of the 
members of that assembly are now Dead, except the writer Their names 
were Lawyer E. W. White Lawyer Robert White, Lawyer Massey Dr 
Taylor, Goodwin Taylor a Merchant, Allen T. Ward Merchant, Thomas 
Kelley, General Seth Clover Indian agent & Col Torrey I think was there 
& some one or two others that I do not remember Wm C Quantrell was 
I introduced him to the citizens He stated to us that he was at Lawrence 
or Topeka Kansas in Nov 1860 . . . Quantrell said that he wanted to 
get Jennison in a Place where he could either capture or Lawfully kill 
him . . . Quantrell stated, at the meeting that the Jayhawkers, while in 
camp near Ossawatomi had contemplated a Raid on Paola, intending to 
rob the stores & the Town, and also contemplated the Robbing of the 
Kansas City, Paola & Fort Scott Stage with the money that was expected 
to be sent to Gen Clover, The agent for the Miami Indians some $30000 

He sent word to Gen Clover to that Effect before the Payment was 
Made, a company of Infantry under Major Brook, from Leaven worth 
was sent to escort the money to Paola, & remained in Miami Co until after 
the Payment was made. I will say here that the Jay hawkers never 
made an attack on Paola, but then it was often threatened. 

After the interview was over Quantrill espressed his willingness to 
answer any and all questions concerning his connections with Jennison 

He also stated that the Jayhawkers, received $60.00 Per head for all 
the slaves they stole out of Missouri, & delivered to the agents of the 
Underground Rail Road company 

Who forwarded them on to Canada. 

15 In the Collection of the author there is a letter written by Cap- 
tain Ely Snyder to G. D. Colton, who lived then at Paola. The letter is 
dated at Osawatomie, Feb. 14^ 1883, and says: 

in the year 1860 some time in the month of Dec Late one Eve [n] ing 
10 men and a two horses wageon with one man the o[w]ner of the Team 
w[h]ich would make 11 men Stopt at my house in Osawatomie ask me to 
Stay all Night I Told them that my House was Small that I co[u]ld not 
accommodate them thay said thay must Stay if thay had to Stay in the 


barn they wair all Strangers to me at that time and I thought that thay 
might not be on Eny good as thay was one Thousand dollars Reward for 
me then in Masurie I had a em[p]ty house a short distance from mine 
and give them the key and told them to go in that house w[h]ich thay 
did thair wag 7 white men and 3 black men besides the teamster w[h]ich 
went away the next mor[n]ing the ten Stayed in the house but I seen 
thay had Som[e] Object in v[i]ew but did not tell me what it was for 
Som[e] days when thay told me that thay Started from Lar ranee with the 
Intention of going toe the Cherekee Nation to bring out Some Slaves and 
wanted me to take my team and wageon and go with them as thair Cap- 
tain I decline and told them it was in the cold winter and it wo[u]ld 
take a big sum of Money to Accomplish eny thing and I found out that 
thay had Little Money So I perswaded them that thay had better Let 
the Job out at presant they then perposed that thay wo[u]ld cut me 
Some wood thay all went to wurk but Quantrill and he made his hed 
quarters at the Post Office it was then proslavery post office and the plan 
of the rade on Wa[l]ker was in my [kjnowing got up in the Post office 
at Osawatomie and had it not been for myself perswadeing the 9 men 
Quantrill wo[u]ld have got all the party in the Same boat as he did the 
three that he persw[a]ded to go with him I went to the Timber wair 
theas wair at work and got them all Together and told them that I 
k[n]ew that Quantrill wo[u]ld get them in tro[u]ble if thay did go with 
him John M. Dean, Albert Southwork and John Jones, William Thomson 
John Thomson and John Martin the three Last names are the names of 
the three black men thay wair Cherekeys fugitives thay wair Intelligent 
black men and So wair all of the white men the Six names that I have 
mentioned took my A [d] vice and did not go with Quantrill to Walkers 
but the other three got very Indignant at me for thinking that Quantrell 
wo[u]ld by Gilty of get[t]ing them in tro[u]ble the name[s] of the three 
that wair kill[e]d at Walkers ones name was Charles Ball, the others 
Last names I dont remember the thair anechiates wair Charles and Ed- 
went and the three went from my House on the morning thay started for 
Walkers and Quantrell started from the Post office I walked with them a 
short distance and bid them good by and told them that I did not expect 
to ever see them again thay went on and met with thair fate it may be 
that I can get thair names in future but I will say that John M. Dean 
was not at Walkers nun but Quantrell and the 3 that I have mentione[d] 

It will be observed that Captain Snyder says that Quantrill came 
to his house in the wagon of Partridge, but he is in error. His son, Elias 
Snyder, says that Quantrill arrived some days ahead of the others. Cap- 
tain Snyder also says that the men were all strangers to him when they 
arrived in the wagon, but it is well known that both Quantrill and Dean 
were well acquainted with Snyder and had been on raids into Missouri 
with him. There was a kind of Freemasonry among the men who raided 
into Missouri, and it extended to the end of life in many cases, and they 
protected one another in all statements given to the public. And for this 
reason Snyder says Dean was not at Walker's. And it is just possible that 
Snyder did not know that Dean went to Walker's after he left Osa- 

On the matters touched on in the letter of Captain Ely Snyder the 
text in this chapter follows the statements made by Elias Snyder to the 
author at his house on October 18, 1907. 



THE men who went from Lawrence to Osawatomie to go 
into the Cherokee Nation were Quantrill, Dean, Ball, Mor- 
rison, Lipsey, Southwick, Jones (Baker), the Thompson 
brothers William and John, and John Martin. Of these men, 
only Quantrill, Ball, Morrison, and Lipsey left Osawatomie to 
go to Morgan Walker's. The others followed the advice of 
Captain Snyder to have nothing to do with Quantrill except 
Dean. 1 

The men carried for arms only knives and revolvers. Guns 
in their hands would have aroused suspicion in the country 
through which they were to pass and might have caused them 
serious trouble. Morrison left 
his Sharps 's rifle with Elias 
Snyder. 2 They carried blank- 
ets and cooking utensils for shar p Rifle carried 
use in camping in the woods on the journey. They walked, and 
they pretended to be on their way to work on the Missouri Pa- 
cific railroad, then being graded in Lafayette county, Mo.s There 

1 As said before, Southwick must have gone, at the solicitation of 
Dean, with the wagon which Dean procured and took to Walker's. It 
was possible for him to have absented himself from Osawatomie a day 
or two without the knowledge of the Snyders, and he must have done so. 

2 Elias Snyder presented this gun to the author in October, 1908. It 
is in good condition. It is No. 1113. 

3 In the letter of E. W. Robinson, f 6rmer probate judge of Miami 
county, Kansas, to W. W. Scott, dated at Paola, Kansas, May 9, 1881, 
now in the Collection of the author, it is said: 

I was well acquainted with Wm C. Quantrill who came to Kansas in 
the spring of 1857 with H. V. Beeson & family. I lived in the same 
neighborhood, at Stanton in this County from March 1857 to Apr 1868, 
when I moved to Paola the Co. Seat. 

I saw him several times during the time he was teaching School 
in the winter of 1858. After his return from Salt Lake I met him in 
Lawrence, where he was known as ' ' Charley Hart ' ' and where I first 
learned from him, of his trip to Salt Lake. I saw him next while on his 


were with Quantrill at the time only two men. Morrison, Ball, 
and Lipsey left Osawatomie with him. Where was the third 
man? Had he been sent back to Osawatomie secretly to find 
Southwick and induce him to go to Walker's with Dean in the 
wagon provided by Stone? He must have been, and he must 
have succeeded in his mission. 

And Dean. What of him? He left Osawatomie before 
Quantrill and the Pardee Quakers left that place to go to Mor- 
gan Walker's. It is not to be believed that the Pardee Quakers 
would have gone with Quantrill had Dean forbidden them. 
Neither can we think they would have gone had not Dean as- 
sured them that he would meet and cooperate with them at the 
critical moment. There was a wagon in waiting near the house 
of Morgan Walker on the night of the attack. This wagon and 
the team drawing it were taken there by John Dean, though he 
says in his letters that he was not at Morgan Walker's. The 
wagon was furnished by Stone, proprietor of the hotel at which 
Quantrill lived much of the time. Quantrill must have sent one 
of his men to guide Dean to the proper locality. This course 
must have been agreed on between Quantrill and Dean. Dean 
did not arrive until after dark and after Quantrill had returned 
to camp from Walker's house. He drove by the road and wait- 
ed near the house while Quantrill and the others went across the 
fields to Morgan Walker's house. 4 

way to Walkers in Jackson Co. Mo. There were with him then two young 
men, who he said were going with him to get work on the Mo. Pacific 
E. E., then building from Lexington to Kan. City. A few days later we 
heard of the Walker Tragedy. 

The statement of Judge Eobinson that Quantrill taught school in 
1858 is erroneous, as is shown by Quantrill 'a letters, published herein, 
which see in chapter on his teaching in Kansas. The judge trusted to his 
memory alone in fixing the date. 

4 This is the story which Dean told at Lawrence upon his return with 
one of his heels shot away. He told only a few and told them for the 
purpose of acquainting them with his reasons for wishing to be arrested 
and thrown into jail for the attempted murder of Allen Pinks. Among 
those he told of his presence at Walker's were Captain Stewart, Samuel 
Walker, and H. S. Clarke. Mr. Clarke so informed the author on November 
4, 1907, and he had given the author this information frequently before 
that time. He had, in addition to the word of Dean, the statement of 
M. J. Burlingame, who was at the time teaching school in the Morgan 


The exact date of the attack on Walker's house is not fixed. 
It was in December, 1860, perhaps late in December. Nor is it 
certain as to the number of men who went to the house with 
Quantrill. Dean had not gone alone with the wagon. And it 
is possible that Quantrill did not know who came with Dean, as 
their arrival was but a few minutes before the party left the 
camp to go to the house. Walker 's son speaks of Southwick as hav- 
ing been one of the party, and he could not have known that Quan- 
trill had an associate of that name but from Quantrill himself. 

Morgan Walker was a Kentuckian who settled near Blue 
Springs, Jackson county, Mo., in 1834. He was a man of affairs, 
and he owned nearly two thousand acres of fine land, upon which 
he lived. His house contained nine large rooms five below 
and four in the second story. It was three miles northeast of 
Blue Springs and nearly seven miles 
southeast of Independence. He owned 
some thirty slaves and more than a hun- 
dred horses and mules, and he had a 
large sum in gold in his house. The house 
was about fifty feet in length and stood 
north and south, facing east, with a porch 
along the whole front. In the north end 
of the porch there was a small room where 
harness was stored, called the harness- 
room. The road ran north of the house, 
and the house was back from the road 
about a quarter of a mile. It was burned 
long since. Clustered back of the house 
were barns, cribs, and negro quarters, s 

Walker district. Notwithstanding his denial, John Dean was at the house 
of Morgan Walker on the night of the raid. 

The adjutant general's report, state of Kansas, shows that Albert 
Southwick, of Springdale, Iowa, enlisted in company C, Tenth Kansas 
regiment, October 28, 1861, and was mustered out August 20, 1864. The 
State Historical Society has a life-size picture of Southwick hanging on 
the wall, a gift from Eli H. Gregg, first sergeant company C, Tenth Kansas. 
Gregg was recruited by Barclay Coppoc, and on the way to Kansas when 
Coppoc was killed by the burning of the Platte river bridge. At least 
twice in John M. Dean's correspondence, Dean inquires, "Who is South- 
wick f" Kansas Historical Collections, Vol. VIII, p. 330. 

S In the letter of Andrew J. Walker, son of Morgan Walker, to W. W. 

Morgan Walker 


It is supposed that Quantrill and his men, or some of them, 
had been in camp in the vicinity of the Walker farm several 
days prior to the day they moved near the house. They must 
have talked with the slaves and have received satisfactory re- 
sponses before venturing upon the final stage of the raid. It is 
certain that the attack was made the night after they got to the 
farm. Morgan Walker rode to Independence that day, and on 
the road he met Quantrill and his men. He either did not know 
Walker or pretended not to know him, for he inquired of him 
for Morgan Walker and the way to his house. Walker replied: 
"I am the man." Quantrill seems to have had no business to 
discuss, and he only asked of Walker if his sons were at home, 
which shows that he had some knowledge of the family. He 
probably knew Walker well, even if Walker did not know him. 

When the Jayhawkers came within a mile of the house 
they camped in a thicket in a piece of woodland. Then Quan- 
trill went to the house of Andrew J. Walker, son of Morgan 
Walker, about a quarter of a mile from the residence of the 
senior Walker, arriving there about eleven o'clock in the fore- 
noon. He told Andrew J. Walker that some men were coming 
from Kansas that night to rob his father; that they were lying 
in wait in the brush and had sent him to reconnoiter the prem- 
ises. He told all their plans and left it to Walker to take such 
action as he might deem proper. At the Morgan Walker home 
that day there were but Mrs. Walker, her daughter Nancy, 

Scott, dated Lebeck, Mo., Nov. 1889, the house is described and a cut or 
rude drawing of it made. Says the letter : ' ' The house stood north and 
south 5 large rooms below and four above porch on the east side about 
50 feet in length the little room was in the north end the road was 
north of the house about a quarter of a mile from the house." 

Morgan Walker was an old citizen of Jackson county a veritable 
pioneer. He had settled there when the buffalo grazed on the prairies 
beyond Westport, and when in the soft sands along the inland streams 
there were wolf and moccasin tracks. Stalwart, hospitable, broad across 
the back, old-fashioned in his courtesies and his hospitalities, he fed the 
poor, helped the needy, prayed regularly to the good God, did right by 
his neighbors and his friends, and only swore occasionally at the Jay- 
hawkers and the Abolitionists. His hands might have been rough and sun- 
browned, but they were always open. None were ever turned away from 
his door hungry. Under the old roof of the homestead no matter what 
the pressure was nor how large the demand had been the last wayfarer 
got the same comfort as the first and altogether they got the best. 
Noted Guerrillas, or the Warfare of the Border, by Major John N. Edwards. 

and the negro women. It was agreed that Quantrill should lead 
his companions to the house, aid in killing them, and then re- 
main with Walker. Andrew J. Walker informed four of the 
neighbors John Tatum, Lee Coger, D. C. Williams, and one 
whose name is now lost. They armed themselves with double- 
barreled shot guns heavily charged with buck-shot and repaired 
to the house of Morgan Walker. On the porch near the little 
room at the north end Mrs. Walker had her loom. Andrew J. 
Walker put three of his men in the little room, and he and the 
other one concealed themselves behind the loom. It was agreed 
that Quantrill and his men should go into the house to talk to 
Morgan Walker about taking away his slaves and other property, 
and that Quantrill should remain in the house. When the others 
came out to gather up the slaves they were to be fired on while 
they were yet on the porch in the light streaming through the 

Morgan Walker came home from Independence about ten 
minutes before Quantrill and his victims arrived there. He was 
hastily acquainted with the posture of affairs. At first he could 
scarcely comprehend the situation. It was sudden and unex- 
pected. He swore that all should be killed, Quantrill and the 

others together, but with the 
aid of his wife, the son was 
able to bring him to acquiesce 
in the agreements which had 
been entered into. Quantrill 
and his men arrived about 
seven o'clock at that sea- 
son, long after darkness had 
Front View Walker House set in. Morrison was left a 

guard on the porch. Dean and perhaps others were stationed 
in the yard near the porch. Quantrill had desired all to come 
into the house with him, but this the men would not -agree to, 
and he, Lipsey, and Ball went into the house. After a brief 
greeting Ball said he might as well state their business at once, 
and then he told Walker that they had come to take his slaves to 
Kansas; that they would also take his horses and mules; that 
they would take what money there was in the house. Walker 



asked Ball if he had talked with the slaves and was told that the 
slaves had been consulted. Walker told him to go and get them, 
but that if any of them objected to going to Kansas they were 
to be left at home that he did not see any good reason why 
those who did not wish to go should be compelled to leave him. 
He also believed that if his slaves were taken he should be al- 
lowed to retain his money and live-stock. Quantrill then told 



1 1 

o * c. 


Bl.f<rVt. VvU. 1 





H.e> U S fc 

Ball to go out and gather up the slaves that he would remain 
in the house and "take care of the old folks," intending that 
Ball should understand that he would guard Walker and his 
wife. As no other persons had been seen by the robbers, Ball 
must have believed there were no other persons at the house or 
about the farm. Quantrill remained with Walker and his fam- 
ily, and Ball and his companion opened the door and stepped 
out upon the porch. 


The night had changed outrider and precursor of doom. 
It was now intensely dark. Ghostly clouds scudded across the 
leaden sky. Dashes of rain and sleet beat upon the earth and 
rattled against the narrow panes and boarded walls of the old 
farmhouse. A moaning wind had risen and now sighed and 
wailed through the crevices and about the angles of the rambling 
homestead. A fitful roar came from the wind-shaken forest. 
The flickering yellow light which streamed from the open door 
fell upon the Jayhawkers, showing those along the yard-border 
but dimly, and for a moment lighting up the anxious, eager faces 
of two or three timid, skulking negro slaves. This scene con- 
tinued for only an instant. Those lying in wait saw in it their 
time for action. From the door of the harness-room and from 
behind the loom there came an irregular, dull, dead roar ac- 
companied by sheets of lurid flame. Morrison fell dead. Lipsey 
fell from the porch with a charge of balls in his thigh. Ball, 
unscathed, leaped from the porch and fired his pistol at random. 
A second volley was fired into the darkness in the hope of find- 
ing those on the outskirts. Then rose upon the sobbing wind 
the wild cry of distress as Lipsey entreated Ball to bear him 
from danger. 

Ball returned and caught up Lipsey, taking him to the 
point where the wagon had been stationed. But no wagon was 
there. A charge of buckshot had struck one of Dean's feet. 
That redoubtable slave-stealer tarried for nothing more. He 
hastily hobbled to the wagon, clambered in, and, waiting for no 
one, fled at a lumbering gallop in the direction of the sheltering 
walls of Lawrence, oh so far away! Southwick pursued the 
panic-stricken and fleeing Dean, to find means of escape in the 
Kansas-bound vehicle. Ball, carrying Lipsey, went, he knew not 
whither. It was enough to know that he was leaving the house 
of "Walker and the scene of black treachery. He arrived in a 
woods about a mile north of Walker's house, but not on the 
Walker farm. In a secluded thicket which he discovered there 
he stopped and passed the night with his wounded companion 
as best he could. No doubt he recalled with bitterness the warn- 
ings and parting prediction of Captain Ely Snyder which he 
had so foolishly scorned a few days before. 


It does not appear that Walker or his neighbors made any 
effort to trail those whom they had not killed. They may have 
supposed all the survivors had escaped in the wagon. The night 
was wild, the robbers were defeated, and a precious rogue had 
been recruited for the slavery side one destined to bring fire 
and sword and woe upon the land. The dead slave-stealer was 
stretched flat on his back on the floor of the harness-room. His 
prowess and ferocity were descanted upon by Quantrill in a 
way strangely at variance with the youthful look on the Quaker 
face of him who should now raid again nevermore. He had laid 
his life on the altar of human liberty, the victim of delusion, 
knavery, treachery, and nothing did he heed of the slanders of 
him he had counted friend but an hour ago. 6 

6 The author has sought every source of information on what oc- 
curred at the house of Morgan Walker. He has interviewed many of the 
old citizens of Jackson county. The text is a faithful account of what 
could be obtained. Most of it is sustained by written evidence, the best 
of which is found in two letters from Andrew J. Walker to W. W. Scott, 
now in the Collection of the author, as are others of his letters. He moved 
from Jackson county to St. Glair county, Mo., his postoffice there having 
been Lebeck. He moved from that point to Texas, where he died some 
years since. Under date of February 3, 1883, he writes: 

I think I know as much about Quantrill as any man living and am 
the only man living who can give his coming into Missouri and commencing 
the War. . . . There were only three men with Quantrill. I can't give 
the exact date when they came to my father's house, but it was about the 
middle of December, 1860. The men were all killed, none got away, their 
names were Charley Ball, Charley Southwick and I have forgotten the 
others name. My Mother and Father are both dead. Quantrill had a long 
neck, small Eoman nose, rather slim face, blue eyes and never wore long 
hair. . . . The day they came my father was gone to Independence. 
Quantrill met him and asked him the way to Morgan Walker's. He told 
him he was the man. Quantrill then asked him if his sons were at home, 
he told him he guessed they were. He accordingly came to my house, I 
lived a quarter of a mile from my fathers and told me his story, that there 
were some men from Kansas coming to rob my father that night, that they 
were living in the brush and had sent him to reconnoiter the premises. He 
told me all their plans and left it to me to do as I pleased. I went and 
got four men each with a double barrel shot gun well loaded with buck 
shot. There was a long porch in front of the house with a little room at 
one end. My mother had a loom in the same end of the porch as this little 
room. I put three of my men in this little room and myself and one man 
got behind the loom and the understanding was to let the men go into the 
house My father got home about ten minutes before they came. Quan- 
trill and two others went into the house and one man stood sentinel. Our 
understanding was to let them come and Ball told my father they had 
as well tell their business. They told my father they were going to take 

his slaves, he had thirty two slaves. They told him they would take his 
slaves, his horses, his mules and his money. There were about 100 horses 
and mules. My father asked Ball if he had talked with the negroes and 
whether they wanted to go or not. He said he had, he told him to go and 
get them then, but that if there were any that did not want to go to let 
them stay. Quantrill said he would take care of the old folks and they could 
go and get the negroes. They came out and we fired on them, one of my 
men fired too soon. One man was killed dead on the porch and another 
wounded in the thigh, Ball got away without a scratch. The night was 
very dark. 

In his letter dated February 22, 1883, Walker says: 
I had never met Quantrill before he made the raid on my fathers 
house. It was about eleven o'clock in the morning when Quantrill came 
to my house, and to my fathers house about seven o'clock at night. South- 
wick stood guard. We supposed they had made their escape. 

Andrew J. Walker also made a statement at a reunion of Quantrill 'a 
men held at Blue Springs, May 11, 1888, which was published in the 
Kansas City Journal the following day. This statement does not agree 
exactly with his letters, but this may be the fault of the reporter. In the 
statement he says: 

I first saw Quantrill in the latter part of November, 1860. He came 
upon the farm of my father, Morgan Walker, which consisted of 1,900 
acres and was located three miles northeast of Blue Springs, one afternoon 
in that month. My father had 26 niggers, and 100 horses and mules; he 
also had about $2000 in the house. I was in the field shucking corn at 
the time. He told my father that he was with a party of three men who 
had come over from Kansas to rob us of our money, horses and mules, and 
run off our niggers. He said he would aid us in thwarting their design. 
We got several men together between that time and dark. I got down 
behind a loom, and my father, John Tatum, Lee Coger, and D. C. Williams 
were hidden in the harness room and other parts of the house. We had it 
all arranged that when the robbers came to the door a lighted candle was 
to be placed in one of the windows. That was the signal for the fun to 
begin. Quantrill, Charles Southwick, Charles Ball, and Lipsey came upon 
the porch. Quantrill stepped inside and said: "We have come to take 
your niggers with us to Kansas. We also want your bosses and mules and 
what money you have in the house." My father replied that if his niggers 
wanted to go to Kansas they were at liberty to do so, but he did not see 
any reason why those who did not want to go should be compelled to leave 
him, and he thought he ought to have his stock and money left 
him. The other three were standing outside the door, which was then 
shut; a candle was put in the window and the other lights turned out. 
We then opened fire on the three companions of Quantrill. Lipsey was 
killed, but Southwick and Ball got away. Southwick was wounded, how- 

It will be observed that in this account, Andrew J. Walker has his 
father in the harness-room and also in the main room of the house talking 
to Quantrill, an impossibility. In this statement there was careless report- 
ing or reckless talk. His letters are by far the best authority. 

Dean has left accounts of the Morgan Walker raid. They are not 
the whole truth, for he denies his own participation in it, and it is known 
that he was a late arrival on the ground with a wagon, and that possibly 


he was accompanied by Southwick. Dean's accounts are set out here. In 
a letter to Colonel Samuel Walker, dated at Waukon, Allamakee county, 
Iowa, July 31, 1879, now in the Collection of the author, he says: 

Those young men that he betrayed to their death at Morgan Walkers, 
were, as I knew them Gods noblemen, the sons of Quakers, full of that 
spirit of Liberty that cheerfully gave such a sacrifice soon after. They 
in no sense as 7 knew them, loved the conflict, but was filled with love 
for the cause of Liberty deep in their natures, abhorred the dark and 
damning stain upon the Escuthion of America, had no real love for the 
work of ' ' abrasion ' ' that must ' ' rub it off " but would not hold aloof 
from such "work" They were Iowa men. their names were Charles Ball, 
Edwin Morrison, Harry Lipsey I was not one of the party, but the par- 
ticulars of the affair, as I will give you, you can rely upon as nothing 
but the truth. Need I tell you that I did not rest or stop untill I had 
learned the facts. Need I tell you that I had "blood in my eye" and at 
that time thought that there was such a thing as "retributive justice" and 
that it was good 

The party that left Osawatomie for Walkers numbered four men. the 
three Iowa men above given and Quantrill. I was there at the time on 
"business" and had the confidence and love of these Iowa men The 
evening before they left I had a long and serious talk on ' ' business ' ' 
matters with Chas Ball the acknowledged leader of the party. We freely 
talked about Quantrell, his "fitness" for the work Ball thought he 
might do, and seemed to have more confidence than I in his frequent declara- 
tions that all he wanted was a chance to prove by "work" his honesty. 
My counsil to Ball was caution. Quick, sharp, decisive action, give every 
man his place and duty and see that they kept their place and done their 
duty, with only a very limited measure of confidence in Quantrill, untill 
he had proved worthy. I did not believe at that time that Quantrill knew 
the destination of the party 

The four, left O'e, supplied with necessary blankets, provisions, arms, 
spy glass &c &c and made a hasty camp near Walkers in the woods, and 
proceeded to look the ground over, and arrange the plan of attack, which 
was decided upon and to be made just at dusk of evening. Quantrell 
made a visit to the house and gave Walker the notice of the intended raid 
that evening, and arranged how he should be known, by moving away from 
the party, to the oblique, while approaching the house. Walker arranged 
a reception and when the party approached the house, Quantrill moved 
away as arranged. Ball suspecting something, spoke sharp to him and 
when Walkers volley came into the party from the house, Ball and Quan- 
trell exchanged shots, with no harm to either in the dusk of the evening. 
Ed Morrison was instantly killed and was the only one of the three that 
could be found that night. 

In the Collection of the author there is a statement which has been 
typewritten by the Kansas State Historical Society from an original, 
perhaps in the library of the Society. It was made to W. W. Scott in 
reply to interrogatories. In it he describes the Morgan Walker raid, and 
the following is taken from that statement: 

The party that made that attempt left Osawatomie about the middle 
of December, 1860, numbering four persons, three Iowa young men and 
Quantrill. The three Iowa young men were sons of Quakers and loved the 
cause of liberty, not the combat which must ever exist between the despot- 
ism that demands servitude without just reward, and the spirit of free- 


dom, but they loved liberty, and their lives were devoted to the attempt 
to make it universal. The oldest of the three, and acknowledged leader, 
was Charley Ball; the next Ed and Harry, while Quantrill went along as 
helper. Before starting Charley Ball and myself had a long and serious 
talk about the trustworthiness of Quantrill. I did not endorse or recom- 
mend but left everything to Ball, he promising to be very watchful and 
guarded, and not too confiding in him. The party started on foot, well 
armed with revolvers, and well supplied with blankets and provisions. 
They arrived safely and camped very near Walker's in the timber, waiting 
for the dusk of evening. Quantrill left the camp upon some excuse and 
notified Walker of the intended raid and how he would dispose of himself 
by stepping on one side when the party advanced so as not to be shot. 
Walker called in the neighbors and when the party was advancing Quan- 
trill moved away from them to the left rear and they were about to shoot 
him, fearing his movement spoke treachery, when the volley came from the 
house into them, and Quantrill and Ball exchanged shots. The volley killed 
Ed and badly wounded Harry, but when Walker searched the ground he 
could find only the dead Ed. 

Dean either never knew what occurred at the house or made these 
erroneous statements about the matter. That he was present there is no 
doubt. But he may have been where he could not see what occurred at 
the porch or the house in the house. His theory in his accounts is that 
the men never entered the house, but were killed as they approached it. 
His statement as to the leadership is balderdash. Quantrill was the leader, 
and the leader with Dean's knowledge and demand. The idea that Quan- 
trill should not know the destination or object of the expedition, when 
Stewart said Quantrill had been urging him to go to Walker's all summer! 
Captain Snyder knew whom the leader was and made every effort to 
prevent the Quaker boys from going with Quantrill. 

Dean made his statements to try to shift and evade responsibility. 
Captain Stewart afterwards told H. S. Clarke that Dean was in the raid 
to Morgan Walker's and there got the bullet in his heel, and that with 
his blundering in a matter for which he was not fitted, it was a wonder 
that he was not killed. 

Southwick told a story not greatly different from that told by Dean. 
The improbable part of his story is that which takes him back to Walker's 
in a few days in the capacity of a spy. It is most likely that he had 
slipped away from Osawatomie for a day or two at the instance of Dean, 
and had gone with that heroic abolitionist in a wagon to aid the others 
at Morgan Walker 's. There he was scared to death almost. His mind 
was a wreck ever after. If there was any place in all the world he never 
could have been forced or cajoled into visiting that place was the house 
of Morgan Walker after the raid; but he says he went back there and had 
dinner. He knew Quantrill was there. Is his story probable? 

Major John N. Edwards, in his efforts to deify Quantrill, in splendid 
rhetoric, in his Noted Guerillas, sheds many tears and wastes much genuine 
sympathy for a Quantrill who never lived a poor, honest, injured, imposed- 
upon, outraged, innocent, guileless Maryland boy who fell victim to the 
rough mercies of the leading Free-State men! Excuse can be made for Major 


Edwards, in that he did not know the truth about Quantrill none of the 
Missourians knew it. Quantrill told them a story wholly false. Major 
Edwards secured most of his information from Frank and Jesse James 
while they were hiding from justice in Louisiana. They wrote letters to 
him all of one summer. They were the poorest authority for historical 
statements on earth, the most wretched imaginable in a matter of this 
kind. His account cf the Morgan Walker raid is as follows: 

There came also from the East about this time some sort of a disease 
known as the club mania. Those afflicted with it and it attacked well 
nigh the entire population had a hot fever described as the enrollment 
fever. Organizations of all sorts sprang up Free soil Clubs, Avengers, 
Men of Equal Rights, Sons of Liberty, John Brown's Body Guard, Destroy- 
ing Angels, Lane 's Loyal Leaguers, and what not and every one made 
haste to get his name signed to both constitution and by-laws. Lawrence 
especially affected the Liberator Club, whose undivided mission was to find 
freedom for all the slaves in Missouri. Quantrell took its latitude and 
longitude with the calm, cold eyes of a political philosopher and joined 
it among the first. As it well might have been, he soon became its vitaliz- 
ing influence and its master. The immense energy of the man making 
fertile with resources a mind bent to the accomplishment of a certain fixed 
purpose suggested at once to the club the necessity of practical work if 
it meant to make any negroes free or punish any slave-holders. He 
knew how an entire family of negroes might be rescued. The risk was not 
much. The distance was not great. The time was opportune. How many 
would volunteer for the enterprise? At first the Club argued indirectly 
that it was a Club sentimental not a Club militant. It would pray 
devoutly for the liberation of all the slaves in the world, but it would not 
fight for them. What profit would the individual members receive if, after 
gaining all Africa, they lost their own scalps? Quantrell persevered, how- 
ever, and finally induced seven of the Liberators to co-operate with him. 
His plan was to enter Jackson county, Missouri, with three days' cooked 
rations, and ride the first night to within striking distance of the premises 
it was intended to plunder. There hidden completely in the brush and 
vigilant without being seen or heard wait again for the darkness of the 
second night. This delay of a day would also enable the horses to get a 
good rest and the negroes to prepare for their hurried journey. After- 
wards a bold push and a steady gallop must bring them all back safe to 
the harbor of Lawrence. Perhaps the plan really was a daring one, and 
the execution extremely dangerous; but seven Liberators out of eighty-four 
volunteered to accompany Quantrell, and in a week everything was ready 
for the enterprise. . . . 

Between the time the Liberators had made every preparation for the 
foray and the time the eight men actually started for Morgan Walker's 
house, there was the space of a week. Afterwards those most interested 
remembered that Quantrell had not been seen during all that period either 
in Lawrence or at the headquarters of his regiment. 

Everything opened auspiciously. Well mounted and armed, the little 
detachment left Lawrence quietly, rode two by two and far apart, until 
the point of the first rendezvous was reached a clump of timber at a 
ford on Indian Creek. It was the evening of the second day when they 
arrived, and they tarried long enough to rest their horses and eat a hearty 
supper. Before daylight the next morning the entire party were hidden 
in some heavy timber two miles to the west of Walker's house. From this 
safe retreat none of them stirred except Quantrell. Several times during 
the day, however, he went backwards and forwards ostensibly to the fields 


where the negroes were at work, and whenever he returned he always 
brought something either for the horses or the men to eat. 

Morgan Walker had two sons true scions of the same stock and 
before it was yet night these two boys and also the father might have 
been seen cleaning up and putting in excellent order their double-barrel 
shot-guns. A little later three neighbors, likewise carrying double-barrel 
shot-guns, rode up to the house, dismounted, and entered in. Quantrell, 
who brought note of many other things to his comrades, brought no note 
of this. If he saw it he made no sign. 

The night was dark. It had rained a little during the day, and the 
most of the light of the stars had been put out by the clouds, when Quantrell 
arranged his men for the dangerous venture. They were to proceed first 
to the house, gain possession of it, capture the male members of the family, 
put them under guard, assemble the negroes, bid them hitch up all the 
wagons and teams possible, and then make a rapid gallop for Kansas. 

Fifty yards from the main gate the eight men dismounted and fas- 
tened their horses. Arms were looked to, and the stealthy march to the 
house began. Quantrell led. He was very cool, and seemed to see every- 
thing. The balance of the marauders had their revolvers in their hands; 
his were in his belt. Not a dog barked. If any there had been aught 
save city bred, this, together with the ominous silence, would have de- 
manded a reeonnoissance. None heeded the surroundings, however, and 
Quantrell knocked loudly and boldly at the oaken panels of Morgan Walk- 
er's door. No answer. He knocked again and stood perceptibly to one 
side. Suddenly, and as though it had neither bolts nor bars, locks, nor 
hinges, the door flared open and Quantrell leaped into the hall with a 
bound like a red deer. 'Twas best so. A livid sheet of flame burst out 
from the darkness where he had disappeared as though an explosion had 
happened there followed by another as the second barrels of the guns 
were discharged, and the tragedy was over. Six fell where they stood, 
riddled with buck-shot. One staggered to the garden, bleeding fearfully, 
and died there. The seventh, hard hit and unable to mount his horse, 
dragged his crippled limbs to a patch of timber and waited for the dawn. 
They tracked him by his blood upon the leaves and found him early. 
Would he surrender? No! Another volley, and the last Liberator was 
liberated. Walker and his two sons, assisted by three of his stalwart and 
obliging neighbors, had done a clean night's work and a righteous one. 
Those who had taken the sword had perished by it. 

The errors in the foregoing quotation are many, glaring, and plain 
to be seen. The party did not go directly from Lawrence, but indirectly, 
going first to Osawatomie. It was designed to go to the Cherokee Nation, 
not to Morgan Walker's, when it left Lawrence. There was no such club 
or organization as Major Edwards describes. The men were not mounted, 
but went to Walker's on foot. Four only left Osawatomie to go on the 
foray, and these were reinforced by Dean and perhaps another, possibly 
Southwick. Andrew J. Walker did not know of this reinforcement, for it 
arrived late after Quantrill had left the house. Perhaps if Quantrill had 
known of the presence of this reinforcement he would not have acquainted 
Walker with the fact, for it might have deterred Walker from making a 
stand against the raiders. The manner of approaching the house is erron- 
eously stated, and the number of men killed too many by more than half. 
The men were shot, not from the door of the house, but from the harness- 
room and behind the loom. 


It is a great pity that so beautiful a description as that written by 
Major Edwards should have so little foundation in the facts as they occurred. 

Morgan Townley Mattox, one of Quantrill's men, told the author, at 
Bartlesville, Oklahoma, April 29, 1909, that Dr. Riley Slaughter, the di- 
vorced husband of Anna Walker, was at the house of Morgan Walker the 
night that Quantrill betrayed his companions to death. Slaughter told 
Mattox so, and described the whole affair. He was the fourth man in the 
squad raised to kill the Jayhawkers. Mattox says it was generally known 
in Missouri that Quantrill killed his companions. His proposition to Walker 
was that he must kill the Kansans himself that he would not have 
revenge otherwise, and that he would not ask the Walkers to take the 
burden of killing these men. 

May 15, 1906, at Independence, Mo., "Babe" Hudspeth told the 
author that Quantrill sometimes boasted of having killed the wounded man 
at Morgan Walker's. He said the other ran and Morgan Walker shot 
him in the head with a musket. 

During the war, Cyrus Leland, Jr., was often in the Walker neigh- 
borhood, and the people told him Quantrill killed his companions. 

A man named Campbell lived near Walker. He was one of the men 
who went with Quantrill and Walker to the brush to kill Ball and Lipsey. 
He said Ball was wounded and fell helpless. Lipsey was already helpless. 
Quantrill shot both of them while they were begging for their lives. 
Campbell had a claim in Douglas county, Kansas, near Fort Saunders, 
which he kept until after the war and lived on it part of the time. It was 
while living there that he told the editor of the Lawrence Tribune of 
Quantrill's killing his helpless companions. 

In a letter of C. F. (Fletch) Taylor in the Collection of the author 
it is said: 

He came with the men for the purpose of robbing Walker and stealing 
slaves, when Quantrill betrayed them, and all were killed, one instantly, 
and the other two next day. One was killed by Quantrill, who ran up to 
him and shot him dead, so we only had his story for the cause, which was 
so far as I could find out then, and even to this day I know of no other 



IT WAS necessary that Quantrill should give to the people of 
Missouri some excuse for his treachery. They were grateful 
for his aid in preventing robbery, but they could not forget 
that he came among them and made himself known to them as 
a member of a band of marauders who stole into Missouri to 
despoil Morgan Walker not alone of slaves, but of horses, mules, 
and money. There were many some in Missouri who could 
have forgiven the raid had it been for the sole purpose of restor- 
ing liberty to enslaved men and women, but they saw neither 
unselfish sacrifice nor devotion to high ideals when horses, mules, 
and money were demanded as booty. Quantrill knew all this 
as well as any man in the world, and he had fortified himself 
against that time when he might feel a rope about his neck or 
gaze into the muzzle of a navy pistol. And this is the story he 
told the Missourians : 

That he was born at Hagerstown, Maryland ; that he had an 
elder brother ; that his brother lived in Kansas and sent for him 
to come on and go with him to California ; that he had come out 
as requested ; that they had outfitted, each with a wagon and four 
fine mules, provisions for the way and a free negro to cook and 
tend camp and mules; that they had started out over the Old 
Santa Fe Trail ; that they had reached the Cottonwood and there 
camped one night; that in the night James Montgomery and a 
body of Jayhawkers numbering thirty, came upon them, slew his 
brother, wounded him in the left leg and breast, robbed him and 
the dead body of his brother, took teams, wagons, and supplies, 
as well as the negro, and left him naked, starving, and helpless 
on the plain; that he watched by his brother's dead body, de- 
fending it from buzzards by day and from wolves by night ; that 
he was dying from thirst and starvation when an old Shawnee 
Indian named Golightly Spiebuck who lived near Leavenworth 


(the Shawnees lived south of the Kansas river and nowhere near 
Leaven worth) came along and buried his brother and carried 
him to his home and nursed him back to health; that, vowing 
vengeance against the Kansas people, he had joined some mili- 
tary organization (usually said to have been one commanded by 
James H. Lane the preposterous idea of joining Lane's com- 
mand to have an opportunity to take vengeance on Montgom- 
ery's men seems not to have struck the Missourians) ; that he 
had found in his company the men who had murdered his 
brother and wounded himself; that they were his companions 
in arms under Lane (how they came to be under Montgomery 
when they found him on the Cotton wood is not explained) ; that 
from time to time he had slain man after man of those who had 
attacked him and killed his brother until now only those with 
him at Morgan Walker's were left; that in the death of those 
his vengeance would be completely glutted and his thirst for 
blood satiated. 1 

i Quantrill may or may not have gone into these details to Andrew 
J. Walker when making arrangements to betray his comrades to death, 
but he told the main part of the story, at least. In a letter written by 
Andrew J. Walker to W. W. Seott, dated Feb. 22, 1883, now in the 
Collection of the author, Walker says: 

Quantrill had been living in Kansas up to the time he came on that 
slave stealing expedition. His statement was that he and an older brother 
had started to Pikes Peak in Colorado, with a four mule wagon, a negro 
man and equipments for mining and that this same band that was with 
him, robbed them of all they had, killed his brother and he himself escaped 
wounded through the leg. After he got well he went and joined them 
under the name of Charley Hart, in order to wreak vengeance. He also 
stated the band consisted of sixty men, headed by a man by the name of 
Montgomery. Their headquarters was at Osawatomie, Kansas, and were 
to get one hundred dollars for every negro delivered at that place. He 
said they run them around to New Orleans and there sold them. 

Captain William H. Gregg, formerly deputy sheriff of Jackson county, 
Mo., served under Quantrill until about January, 1864. He has written a 
long account of his services for the author, now in the Collection of the 
author, in which he says: 

Quantrill told this story to his men. I was born in Hagerstown, 
Maryland, in 1836. Me and my older brother, a negro boy, wagon and 
team, started for Pike's Peak, arriving at Lawrence, Kansas, then but a 
village. We stopped to make some purchases, leaving sometime in the 
afternoon, camped near the Kaw Eiver, where sometime in the night we 
were attacked by Montgomery's band of Jayhawkers. My brother was 
killed, I wounded and left for dead, the negro, wagon and team, with our 
plunder appropriated. After keeping vigil for twenty-four hours amidst 


Quantrill's holy life of hardship and devotion to the South 
(as told by him) grew in Missouri with the lapse of time. It, 
together with his guerrilla outrages and inhuman massacres, be- 
came a deification. His fame as a martyr and saint in Missouri 
reached its zenith in the days when Major John N. Edwards 
strove so gallantly and wrote so eloquently for the press of that 
State. Major Edwards believed what he wrote, for he was an 
honest man. He had no correct information upon the subject 
of the life of Quantrill in Kansas, and much that he wrote he 
obtained from Frank and Jesse James long after the war and 
when they were in hiding, outlaws for highway robbery and 

the hideous bowlings of hundreds of coyotes, becoming almost famished for 
water, I managed to crawl to the Kaw River, and quench my thirst, after 
which I espied a canoe at the opposite bank, and soon after an Indian 
approached the canoe, to whom I halloed, asking him to come over, which 
he did, and, after hearing my story, buried my dead brother, when he and 
his wife nursed me to health. 

Soon after I was restored to health, I sought Montgomery and joined 
his band, under the name of Charley Hart. I had not been with Mont- 
gomery long when I found that I had the confidence of all the officers and 
men. I then, in a systematic way, obtained the names of all the men who 
took part in the killing of my brother, &c. I had joined Montgomery for 
the purpose of getting revenge, managing to get one at a time away from 
camp. I never allowed one to get back alive, until, when the war came 
on, there were only two left. 

The above story was somewhat shaken, however, when a woman 
purporting to be Quantrill's mother together with a Mr. Scott, both from 
Canal Dover, O., appeared in Jackson County, Missouri, about 1884, both 
of whom told the same story. Mrs. Quantrill said, My son William had no 
older brother, he had a younger brother "Thompson." William was my 
oldest child, hence the story which you relate cannot be true, besides, says 
she, my children were all born and raised at Canal Dover, Ohio. Mr. Scott, 
who claimed to be a bosom friend and schoolmate of William Clark Quan- 
trill, voiced what Mrs. Quantrill said, and further said that he was very 
much surprised at the course taken by Quantrill, for, said he, he was raised 
an "abolitionist." 

Whether Quantrill was a deception thus far or not, rests with the 
truth or falsity of the latter statement. 

At a later date Quantrill told the women with whom he associated in 
Missouri the same story with many additions. In a letter written by Mrs. 
Olivia D. Cooper to W. W. Scott, dated Lee 'a Summit, Jackson county, Mo., 
May 9, 1881, now in the Collection of the author, is the following: 

The man I knew as W. C. Quantrill always said he was born and 
raised in Hagerstown, Md., When he became such a ' noted rebel partisan 
chieftain his mother had to leave home went to Virginia was there when he 
was wounded and died in Louisville, Ky., he wrote to her all the time he 
was in the state he told me a few days before he was wounded about his 
relatives said he had three brothers one was killed in Kansas when they 
were on their way to Colorado while they were in camp one night the Jay- 


murder; they told him what they had heard from Quantrill and 
only that. They knew nothing more; no one in Missouri knew 
more. As the work of Edwards is the most pretentious on the 
subject, and as it contains such ridiculous statements and bald 
untruths, some of its assertions are noticed here : 

Major Edwards begins by saying that Quantrill was born at 
Hagerstown, Md., July 20, 1836, and that he lived there until he 
was sixteen years of age, a devoted and affectionate son, helping 
his widowed mother. In his sixteenth year he was taken to 
Cleveland, Ohio, by an old friend of the family, a Colonel Toler 
(Torrey?), and there given an excellent English education. He 
never saw his mother again. He had an only brother in Kansas 
long before 1855, older by several years than himself. This older 
brother is represented to have been a father to him and the 
mainstay of his widowed mother, "still fighting the uncertain 
battles of life heroically and alone." Quantrill 's brother wrote 
for him to come to Kansas to go with him to California, as ' ' the 
brother in Kansas would not go without the brother in Ohio," 
and about the middle of the summer of 1856 both brothers began 
the overland journey, each having a wagon loaded with pro- 
visions, four good mules each, and "more or less money between 
them." They took a negro along to do the cooking and to care 
for the teams. 

"The three were together when that unprovoked tragedy 
occurred which was to darken and blacken the whole subsequent 
current of the younger brother's life, and link his name forever 

hawkers as they were afterwards called came on them in the night killed 
his brother shot him breaking his leg left him for dead took their outfit 
and negro man they had and left his second brother killed fiting under 
the gallant Stone Wall Jackson in Virginia his other brother a lad twelve 
years old was a cripple at home with his Mother and Sister about eighteen 
years of age. you say he was born at Canal Dover Ohio is why I think 
there must hare [been] two men of the same name the young man that 
was here gave his name as Thompson Quantrill so I cannot give any inform- 
ation concerning the [one] you speak of the one I knew was true to the 
cause for which he fought and [a] son that any Mother might be proud off 
as to the questions you ask I could never think of writing not being much 
of a hand at letter writing as you see when you read this I know brave 
deeds and hair bredth escapes of him and his brave company but dates I 
cannot remember he was a true catholic this Thompson said they were all 
Prebyterians the Priest name was Powers but I have heard that he died 
about a year ago. Capt. Quantrill was buried in the Catholic grave yard 
between Louisville & Portland Ky. I have his photograph but I can not 
send it from the fact it is not at home at present tis a good likeness of him. 


with some of the savagest episodes of some of the most savage 
guerrilla history ever recorded." This orderly and brotherly 
company camped one night on the Cottonwood, en route to Cal- 
ifornia, (in 1856, mind you a year before Quantrill came to 
Kansas), when thirty armed men "rode deliberately up to the 
wagons where the Quantrells were and opened fire at point-blank 
range upon the occupants." The elder brother was killed in- 
stantly, and Quantrill was badly wounded in the left leg and 
right breast and left to die. As the wagons were driven off the 
negro requested that food be left the wounded man, which was 
refused. The pockets of the Quantrills were robbed. Then Quan- 
trill fought buzzards by day and wolves by night to keep them 
from devouring the dead body of his brother. Fever consumed 
him and he rolled himself down to the stream to drink, some 
" fifty good steps" distant, and rolled himself up again, staunch- 
ing his wounds with grass. He lived by force of will to avenge 
his wrongs. 

Early in the morning of the third day the old Shawnee 
Indian, Golightly Spiebuck, came along and found this wounded 
man in his deplorable condition. He buried the dead brother. 
Sp"iebuck is said to have told this story often, but the Indian is 
noted for truthfulness, and there was probably no such man, 
though Edwards says he died in 1868. It required four hours 
for him to dig a grave for the dead Quantrill. "Quantrell 
watched the corpse until the earth covered it, and then he hob- 
bled to his knees and turned his dry eyes to where he believed 
God to be. Did he pray? Yes!" 

Quantrill taught a school the remainder of 1856 and paid 
Spiebuck liberally for saving him, and on the 15th day of Aug- 
ust, 1857, went to Leavenworth and took the name Charley Hart. 
There he became intimate with Lane, who, in this remarkable 
story, is said to have been in command of a regiment with head- 
quarters at Lawrence, a statement which is preposterous. Quan- 
trill went from Leavenworth to Lawrence and enrolled (in 1857, 
mind you), in the "company to which belonged all but two of 
the men who did the deadly work at the Cottonwood River." 
There he became a fine soldier in that company and was in con- 
stant service, scouting from the Kaw to the Boston Mountains. 


One day he was sent to Wyandotte to aid Jack Winn, "a some- 
what noted horsethief," to get some slaves out of Missouri. 
One of the men who went with Quantrill failed to return with 
him and he was found near a creek some days later with a round 
smooth bullet-hole in the center of his forehead. Winn was also 
shot just inside a cornfield there and found with the "same 
round hole in the forehead." 

Then Quantrill's company was ordered to Fort Scott, to- 
gether with three other companies. This force was to expel 
hordes of border-ruffians who had invaded Kansas and overrun 
some counties in those parts. Much fighting was done by the 
Free-State men, and "Quantrill was first in every adventurous 
enterprise and the last to leave upon the skirmish line." Sixty 
men were lost by the Kansas forces killed. Forty-two were 
killed by the border-ruffians and eighteen by Quantrill eight- 
een. They had "the same round, smooth hole in the middle of 
the forehead." After the return of the forces to Lawrence a 
sentinel was found dead at his post every week/ "The men be- 
gan to whisper one to another and to cast about for the cavalry 
Jonah who was in the midst of them. One company alone, that 
of Captain Pickens the company to which Quantrill belonged 
had lost thirteen men between October, 1857, and March, 1858. 
Another company had lost two, and three one each. A second 
Underground Railroad conductor named Rogers had been shot 
through the forehead, and two scouts from Montgomery's com- 
mand named Stephens and Tarwater." 

Quantrill was made a lieutenant in the company of Captain 
Pickens. He and the captain became intimate. One night Pick- 
ens told exultingly of having raided the camp of two emigrants 
on the Cotton wood, ' ' and the artistic execution of the raid which 
left neither the dead man a shroud nor the wounded man a 
blanket." Pickens told, too, how the plunder was divided, the 
mules sold, and the money put in a heap and gambled for. 
' ' Three days thereafter Pickens and two of his most reliable men 
were found dead on Bull creek, shot like the balance in the mid- 
dle of the forehead." 

Then there was a panic among the soldiers, but finally the 
matter was forgotten in the daily routine of the camp. But 


Quantrill bought the finest horse in the Territory and two navy 
revolvers. To test the matter as to whether he was suspected, 
Quantrill had a long talk with Lane, the colonel of the regiment, 
and concluded that he was not under suspicion. Two months 
later Quantrill was ordered to take his own company and de- 
tails from two others, in all one hundred and fourteen men, and 
scout out to the extreme west end of the Territory, which, at that 
time, was the top of the main chain of the Rocky Mountains. 
No Indians were seen, but thirteen men were missing three 
shot through the forehead. Then an orderly was missing, and, 
later, a member of Lane's staff. The last man killed by Quan- 
trill while in this regiment was this orderly, who had boasted 
that he killed the elder Quantrill at the Cottonwood. And in 
this remarkable story the next incident is the Morgan Walker 
raid, taking Quantrill over to the Missourians. 

The whole tale is false. There is no truth in any part of 
it. Quantrill was not born at Hagerstown, Maryland ; he had no 
older brother he was the first-born. He never started to 
Pike's Peak or California with any one, but did stop at Pike's 
Peak on his return from Utah. He never owned a wagon. He 
was not set upon by any body of Kansas men on the Cottonwood, 
nor at any other point. There was no such military organiza- 
tion in Kansas as that described. The Free-State forces were 
the settlers who assembled at the call of a captain selected by 
themselves, and when the border-ruffians were expelled they 
returned to their claims and cabins. Quantrill never belonged 
to any military organization in Kansas. He was a member of a 
band of robbers in 1860, most of the time skulking through the 
brush to escape the strong hand of Sheriff Walker. There was 
no Captain Pickens, no Jack Winn, no Stephens, no Tarwater. 
All these characters and incidents originated in the mind of 
Major Edwards or some informant who ignorantly or maliciously 
told him a string of falsehoods. 

In 1.856 Quantrill was yet in Ohio had not come to Kan- 
sas, but this story puts him then on the road to California and 
in a massacre on the Cottonwood, where his brother met death 
at the hands of the Free-State men. He is made to enlist in a 
regiment of Kansas settlers at Leavenworth August 15, 1857. 
At that time he was in Miami (Lykins) county stealing oxen 


from Beeson and blankets and pistols from Torrey. He is made 
to do military service in a regiment which never existed, in the 
winter of 1857-58, while the truth is that he was at that time 
sponging his board from his friends and stealing their food and 
blankets at Tuscarora Lake, Johnson county, Kansas. In the 
fall of 1858 Edwards has Quantrill shooting Jack Winn at Wy- 
andotte, when in fact he was in Utah cooking for a mess of sol- 
diers. He is made to assassinate the men in the company of 
Captain Pickens somewhere between the fall of 1858 and the 
Morgan Walker raid, and finally to murder Captain Pickens 
himself, when the truth is that most of that time he was a princi- 
pal character in as disreputable a band of cut-throats, kidnappers, 
highway robbers, murderers and border-ruffians as ever went 
unhung, and he did his full share of the work engaged in by the 
banditti. He robbed indiscriminately Missouri or Kansas, 
Lawrence or Independence, Osawatomie or Harrisonville bor- 
der-ruffians or Free-State men. He was a kidnapper and a 
Quaker, a slave-stealer and a negro-driver, a blackmailer and the 
humble disciple of the "Fighting Parson," a Puritan and the 
reproach of "Cuckold Tom." When Major Edwards would have 
him slaying Free-State men by the score, he was in fact stealing 
cattle from the pro-slavery settlers in the Salt Creek Valley. 
When his worshipers would have us believe he was an innocent, 
injured Maryland boy in the cabin of tkj Shawnee, he was a 
roistering gambler at Fort Bridger. 

Quantrill had no convictions, stood for no principles, was 
in favor of no State or party, had no choice of communities, 
could not comprehend honesty, was an utter stranger to loyalty, 
and did not know such a thing as friendship. 

As to murder and assassination. Major Edwards says he 
killed at least twenty-eight men while he lived in Kansas. That 
is probably the only statement in this story in which Major Ed- 
wards strikes the absolute truth. He no doubt killed many 
more. And there were Illinois, Indiana, Utah, and the Pike's 
Peak country, in all of which he spilled blood before he had a 
beard. Still, he was deified by Major Edwards and was wor- 
shiped in Missouri. He made widows and orphans by the 
hundred, plundered Puritan and Cavalier, slew his foes and be- 
trayed and murdered his friends and drenched a border in blood. 



THERE was great excitement in that part of Jackson 
county about Blue Springs when word of what had been 
done at Morgan Walker's spread abroad. Men armed 
themselves and rode to Walker's house by the dozen and by the 
score. The body of the dead Jayhawker, "straightened for the 
grave, ' ' was laid out to be gazed upon. Many were the surmises 
of his reckless daring and ferocious temper. Several men were 
certain he had visited their separate neighborhoods and carried 
away slaves. Some had met him on lonesome roads were sure 
of it and had then marked him for an abolitionist and Jay- 
hawker. Quantrill was questioned closely and repeated his 
manufactured tale about his brother's death, always increasing 
the brutality and savagery of the Jayhawkers and his awful 
sufferings at their hands. Most of the men believed he was lying, 
and quite a number favored hanging him then and there. 

At the solicitation of Walker's wife and other women Mor- 
rison was buried late in the day after he was killed. In those 
days there was a family burying-ground on almost every farm, 
that on the Walker farm being quite extensive. But Morrison 
was not buried in it. He was carried to a different part of the 
place and buried near the road in a rude coffin made by one of 
the slaves from native lumber. The crowds dispersed and every 
man betook himself to his own domicile convinced that his slaves 
were in danger and that desperate steps would have to be taken 
to protect them. 

It was supposed that Morrison was the only raider who 
would be secured that the others had made good their escape. 
Two or three days after the attack the slave of a neighbor to 
Walker was hunting hogs in the woods and found Ball and Lip- 
sey in their camp in the thicket. They entreated him to go with 
them to Kansas and aid in getting the wounded man back to his 


home, assuring him of his freedom if he should do so. He was 
directed to say nothing of the camp of the Jayhawkers, to secure 
what cooked food he could lay hands upon, and come with a 
wagon and team in which they would all go to Lawrence, thence 
to Pardee, from which place the negro would be taken to Iowa 
and Canada. He agreed to do all that was required of him, no 
doubt expecting to perform his promises at the time he was 
making them. But his stupidity and the instinct of his people 
in their servitude made him decide upon loyalty to his master 
and treachery to those in distress who would give him liberty. 
He went straight home and told of finding the camp and de- 
scribed its occupants and what they had said to him. He said 
they had already stolen a horse upon which to ride out of Mis- 
souri, and that it was tied to a sapling near the camp. Ball had 
killed one of the very hogs he had missed and gone to hunt, and 
this was furnishing them meat. He had also extracted a quantity 
of buck-shot from Lipsey 's wounds, which were severe and highly 
inflamed, and he was treating them with applications of heated 
leaves and water. 

The neighbor went at once to the house of Walker and told 
what the slave had said. The men at Walker's, accompanied by 
the neighbor and two or three other residents there, armed them- 
selves and set forth to find the raiders and kill them. All had 
heavily-charged shot-guns except Morgan Walker and Quantrill, 
the latter having only his pistol and Walker a heavy musket or 
buffalo-gun, perhaps a Hawkins rifle. Dean and Southwick al- 
ways said that Ball saw them coming, and, knowing that the 
game was up, stood over Lipsey waving his revolver and chal- 
lenging Quantrill to step out and fight to the death with him. 1 

i In the letter of Dean already quoted from, addressed to Samuel 
Walker, it is stated: 

A day or two after one of Walkers slaves found the other two in 
the woods, while looking up a missing horse, and found the horse tied with 
them. Ball was seemingly "all right" and had a small camp fire, was 
making a poultace of bark for Harry, who was dying of his wounds The 
slave left the horse with them and promised not to betray them, but did 
immediately go and tell Walker, who summoned his "army" and guided 
by the negro, surrounded the "camp." when Ball saw them approaching 
he at once knew that he was "lost" and singling out Quantrell who stood 
beside Walker, dared him to come near enough to give him a fair chance. 
Ball stood over his dying comrade and shook his pistol at the attacking 


The Missourians say that Ball started to run when Walker 
and his posse appeared, and that Morgan Walker shot him in the 
back of the head with his heavy gun, killing him instantly. And 
they say that Lipsey was killed by a volley fired by the whole 
Walker force. Andrew J. Walker says that only the Walkers 
and Quantrill went to the camp to kill Ball and Lipsey, and that 
a volley fired by them killed both men, and that Quantrill did not 
fire and did not kill either of the men. 2 

party Walker himself, being armed with a long range rifle, shot Ball in the 
forehead and killed him instantly. When Ball fell, Quantrell ran up, looked 
at Harry and Ball, put his revolver into Harrys mouth and fired, and there 
was no one of the party to tell Walker any different story than Quantrells. 

In the statement made by Dean to Scott in response to interrogatories, 
before quoted partly, is the following account of this part of the affair: 

The second day after the attack one of Walker's negroes reported 
at the house that in hunting up stray stock, he had found in the woods 
the other two men, that the small one (Harry) was badly wounded in the 
hip and helpless, while Ball had obtained a horse and cooked up some herbs, 
made a poultice for Harry's wounds and was getting ready to carry the 
wounded man away. Walker loaded up his rifle and all the guns on the 
place as quick as possible, and with the many neighbors that were there 
seeking the wonderful, they all started, led to the place by the negro who 
made the discovery, Quantrill and Walker walking together. When they 
arrived at the place they spread out in a semicircle and advanced to rifle 
range, under Quantrill 's caution to keep away from Ball's revolver. When 
Ball saw them and then knew that the negro had betrayed him, he stood 
over his wounded comrade and shaking his revolver at Quantrill, dared him 
to come out in fair sight and range, and as he thus stood, Walker with his 
rifle shot him square in the center of the forehead. The instant Ball fell 
Quantrill ran up to him and putting his revolver into the mouth of Harry, 
who lay helpless, fired, killing him. 

2 In the letter of Andrew J. Walker dated February 3, 1883, already 
referred to and quoted from is the following: 

Two days later a negro man saw them in the woods and told his 
master who told my father. My father, brother, Quantrill and myself went 
out where they were. They drew their pistols and my father and myself 
fired on them killing them both. Quantrill did not kill either of them. 
Southwick was so badly wounded that he could not stand. They had stolen 
a horse the night before and had it tied in the brush near by. They were 
to leave that night. 

The statements of Andrew J. Walker do not always agree. In his 
interview printed in the Kansas City Journal, May 12, 1888, heretofore 
noticed herein, is the following on this matter: 

A negro servant of my father saw them in the brush a few days later. 
My father and I shouldered our guns, loaded with buckshot and went after 
them, and they were buried right there. Ball jumped up and Southwiok 
raised himself on his elbows. He laid down immediately and did not rise 
any more. Quantrill was along, but he did not shoot at Ball or Southwick. 

Walker supposed that Lipsey was Southwick. As to Quantrill '3 shoot- 
ing Ball and Lipsey, see text and notes ante. 


May 15, 1906, the author was at Independence, Mo., and saw 
there some of Quantrill's men, among them "Babe" Hudspeth, 
A. J. Liddill, and Warren Welch. Hudspeth said Quantrill 
always boasted of having killed the wounded man, justifying the 
act by claiming that Lipsey had helped to plunder him and his 
brother on the Cottonwood, and had fired with the party that 
killed his brother and wounded himself, but Hudspeth did not 
know the name of the wounded man was Lipsey. There was at 
that time in Judge Liddill's office a man named James Harris. 
Harris said he was a boy about ten years old when Quantrill 
came to Morgan Walker's and betrayed his comrades. Harris 
said his father lived about a mile from the house of Morgan 
Walker. He said that Walker shot the man who started to 
run shot him with a big gun in the back of the head and killed 
him instantly. He also said that Quantrill ran up and shot the 
wounded man in the head, and the wounded man died at once. 
It was supposed that Quantrill wished to prevent Lipsey from 
talking, fearing that he would tell some truths that would give 
the Walkers a true insight into his character. Harris described 
the scene which occurred at the house of Morgan Walker when 
he got back from Independence and was told of the robbery that 
would be attempted in a few minutes. Walker wanted to shoot 
or hang Quantrill the night of the raid thought it would be 
best to kill all the raiders, and that others present believed the 
same thing. Andrew J. Walker, however, insisted that Quan- 
trill be saved, as his promise was to that effect, and he finally 

Ball and Lipsey were buried where they were killed, and 
without coffins. Physicians or "doctors" came, in a day or two, 
and carried away all the bodies for dissection.^ 

While the people of Walker's neighborhood were satisfied 

3 Dean and Southwick insisted always that Morgan Walker turned 
the bodies over to "doctors" before burial, but Andrew J. Walker says in 
the letters before referred to that the bodies were decently buried. Old 
residents of Jackson county have told the author that the bodies were 
buried that they were present and saw them buried, and that neither 
Walker nor his family were responsible for the exhumation of the bodies. 
They said that public sentiment was such that no effective protest could 
be made, and that it could not be prevented. Residents in the country 
have a horror of desecrated graves, and to take a body for the purpose of 


with the termination of the raid, the county authorities believed 
it should be investigated. The sheriff went to Walker 's, arrested 
Quantrill, and took him to Independence. 
There he threw the prisoner into jail. 
Andrew J. Walker went to Independence 
with the sheriff. There was no formal 
charge against Quantrill, and Walker 
prevailed on the sheriff to release him. 
That night Walker and Quantrill slept 
in the same room in an Independence tav- 
ern. On the following day the town was 
full of people from the surrounding coun- 
try, and excitement ran high. There was 
generally no correct understanding of the 
affair. People believed that all the Jay- 
jam Younger hawkers should have been killed; they 

could not comprehend the reason for Quan trill's escape. Quan- 
trill's statement was reduced to writing, and in it he gave as 
the place of his birth, Hagerstown, Md> Walker saw that feel- 
ing was running high against Quantrill, and at noon he realized 
that it was near the danger point. He went to the livery stable 
and mounted his horse with the intention of taking Quantrill 
home with him. When he reached the public square arrange- 
ments were in progress there for the hanging of Quantrill, who 

"cutting it up" is regarded as the height of wickedness, heartlessness, and 
depravity. It is not probable that any of the country-folk approved the 
course of the "doctors." Who these "doctors" were is not now known. 

4 To the article of H. S. Clarke, published in the Seventh Volume, 
Kansas Historical Collections, is added the following foot-note: 

"Memoirs of a Missourian, " by John W. Henry, in the Kansas City 
Star, September 22, 1901, says: "In 1860 Quantrill came to Morgan 
Walker, a farmer, near Blue Springs, and informed him of a plot of four 
Kansas desperadoes to run off his negroes, giving the precise date at which 
they would make their raid. They came at the time designated and were 
killed. After the attempt to run off Walker's negroes, Walker came to 
Independence with Quantrill, then known as William Clark, and a gelf- 
constituted committee met them in the court-house, and I was requested 
to reduce to writing Quantrill 's statement, which I did, and kept it for 
several years, but do not recollect what became of it. ... When under 
examination as above mentioned, I have forgotten whether he gave his true 
name or not, but am inclined to think that he did not, because I wrote to 
the clerk of the court, at Hagerstown, for information in regard to him, 
and he wrote that he never knew such a man. Yet I have no doubt that 
he came from Hagerstown or that vicinity." 


seems then to have been with Walker. Walker was able to turn 
the crowd from its purpose, but he had to stand firmly against 
it and say that Quantrill could be secured only over his dead 
body. When the tide was turned he went to a store and 
bought Quantrill a suit of clothes made of blue jeans, and then 
carried him back to Morgan Walker's. The following day Mor- 
gan Walker gave Quantrill a horse, bridle and saddle, and fifty 
dollars in cash, with the understanding that Quantrill was to 
leave his house for the time being. A justice of the peace, 
"Squire Lobb," gave him ten dollars. Walker feared that if 
Quantrill remained with him his farm would be raided by parties 
from Kansas to revenge the death of those who came with him. 

Stopping with different farmers in the neighborhood of 
Morgan Walker, Quantrill spent the winter of 1860-61. He 
was often at Walker's house. Most of his time was spent at 
the hospitable home of Mark Gill, where he became a great 
favorite. Dreading publicity and fearing recognition, he did 
not visit Independence, but kept always to the rural districts. 
He made two or three trips to Kansas, going to Paola and 
remaining there some days an honored guest at the tavern of 
Torrey, feted and caressed by the family. He was made a 
hero by Potter and other pro-slavery people living then in 
that town. 

Quantrill was restless and uneasy. He longed to be 
engaged in active operations against his former associates in 
Kansas. He found it difficult to organize forays. Times were 
changing. Kansas was a State, and the people felt free and 
confident when they had escaped from the domination of the 
Buchanan government. When the State was lost to the South, 
many Missourians favored a cessation of hostilities. And in 
the excitement preceding secession the people of Jackson county 
thought more about getting their slaves safely to Texas' than 
of preying longer upon the lean pioneer homes and towns of 
bleeding Kansas. By the light of the moon Quantrill rode 
constantly. It was necessary for him to get on a familiar and 
confidential footing with men in his new environment. His 
trips to Kansas were in search of something attractive enough 
to induce his new associates to again cross the border. In the 


one last undertaken, he ventured beyond Paola and deep into 
the Jayhawker settlements in the hope of finding there some 
adventure which would aid him to rouse the waning enthu- 
siasm along the Sni and the Little Blue. He promised Andrew 
J. Walker, then the most hopeful of his new converts, that he 
would be gone a few days only.s 

5 The best evidence is to the effect that Morgan Walker gave Quant rill 
a black mare of the Morgan stock, and that he called her "Black Bess." 
But Mr. George W. Thompson, son-in-law of H. V. Beeson, thinks it was a 
horse. The animal had lost an eye by some accident, but was a thorough- 
bred of fine form and splendid qualities, and was a swift runner. Mrs. 
Thompson remembers having seen Quantrill dressed in his new suit when 
he rode by the Thompson home on his way to the house of Bennings, and 
it was made of blue jeans. 

In the letter of Andrew J. Walker, dated February 3, 1883, it is said: 

The sheriff came and took Quantrill to Independence and put him in 
jail. I went with him to that place and got the Sheriff to let him out that 
night. I took him to the Hotel and we slept in the same room. A great 
many people were in town the next day and the excitement ran very high. 
In the afternoon I thought it time to start home and went to the stable 
to get my horse. When I arrived on the public square, I found a great 
crowd gathered about. I rode up to them to see what it meant and learned 
that they were going to hang Quantrill. I told them they must not do it; 
but some of them seemed inclined to be stubborn about it. I told them if 
they did, they would do it over my dead body and they gave it up. I then 
went with Quantrill and bought him a suit of clothes of which he was badly 
in need and we went home. The next day my father gave him a horse, 
bridle and saddle and $50.00 in money with the understanding that he was 
to leave, as it was thought best. He left for Kansas; but told me he 
would be back in a few days and he was. He made two or three trips into 
Kansas. He was caught once and put in jail at Aubrey, I think. 
In his letter dated February 22, 1883, Walker says: 
The Sheriff had no warrant for his arrest when he came and took 
him to Independence. When he got there he put him in jail. I asked him 
why he put him in jail, when he answered, for his own safety and would 
take him out as soon as the excitement was over and true to his word 
turned him out about eight o'clock that night. The next day the town 
was crowded with people and all sorts of rumors were afloat and a great 
deal of excitement prevailed. The people had not got to fairly understand 
the matter and they hardly knew themselves what they were going to hang 
him for, only for the fact that he was in bad company and there was 
naturally a prejudice against Kansas men, as there had been a great deal 
of trouble between Kansas and Missouri. The crowd was mostly pro- 
slavery men. The reason we thought it best for Quantrill to leave my 
father's house, was this; we thought the remainder of the gang would hunt 
him up and kill him if possible, or if he staid there they would burn my 
father's house or do him some other great harm. He was not in danger 
of being molested by the neighbors, for that matter had all been settled. 
We all felt under obligations to him for saving my father's life and 
property. He never taught school in Missouri. 



QUANTRILL did not venture to Lawrence, but went to 
Stanton and lodged with his old-time pro-slavery friend, 
Bennings, knowing that he could there secure accurate 
information of people and conditions in Kansas. He had 
played double so long that he was bold and thought he 
might thus far penetrate his first Kansas haunts without dan- 
ger. It is said that he had a lady friend in that vicinity whom 
he often visited one whom he met and formed some acquaint- 
ance with while teaching there. She is said to have been fasci- 
nated with him and devoted to his interests and enterprises, but 
that her parents strongly objected to his attentions to her. From 
her he knew he could secure reliable information of his former 
companions. 1 

On the 25th day of March, 1861, Quantrill entered the 
Stanton settlement in great glee, singing as he rode "Black 
Bess" along the banks of the Marais des Cygnes. He passed 
the Beeson home, where Thompson, the husband of Beeson's 
daughter, was then living. He rode back of the house near the 
kitchen door, laughed a sneering insult and passed on down the 
river in the direction of the home of Bennings. Mrs. Thompson 
did not see him and asked her husband who had passed. He 
replied, "some one you ought to remember." She looked out 
and saw Quantrill, who was gayly dressed in his new suit of 
blue jeans. She observed that Quantrill had been seen by a 
neighbor, for William Strong hurriedly mounted his horse and 
rode towards Osawatomie. She knew of the feeling in the com- 
munity against Quantrill, and she believed Strong went to notify 
Captain Snyder of his presence. 

i This information was given the author by Hon. William Higgins, of 
Bartlesville, Oklahoma, who says the young lady was well known to him, 
as were her parents, and that she was a Catholic. This was the last visit 
Quantrill made to Stanton or Kansas before the Civil War. 


This visit of Quantrill was the third he had made to the home 
of Bennings after the Morgan "Walker raid. He must have had 
more than one object in these visits. Dean says, in one of his 
letters, that Quantrill made inquiry of the stage driver to learn 
where he (Dean) was. Dean believed that Quantrill desired to 
find and murder him. He may have intended to assassinate 
other Free-State men with whom he had been associated. Cap- 
tain Snyder had heard of the flying visits of Quantrill to the 
house of Bennings, and he had decided to kill him if possible 
when he should come again. Snyder had provided means of 
having notice of the next visit of Quantrill the one he was 
then making. William Strong and a German boy named Peter 
Hauser each rode to Osawatomie with the intelligence of the 
presence of Quantrill on the Marais des Cygnes. Two parties 
left Osawatomie to capture Quantrill. 

It was from Peter Hauser that Captain Snyder had word 
that Quantrill was at the house of Bennings. His father, Sam- 
uel Hauser, was justice of the peace at Stanton. Young Hauser 
did not find Captain Snyder when he first arrived at Osawato- 
mie, and he finally told Elias Snyder what message he bore. 
Elias Snyder immediately informed John S. Jones and W. M. 
Martin, and the three armed themselves and went to the house 
of Bennings, where they stationed themselves in such position 
that Quantrill could not escape them. It was their intention 
to arrest Quantrill and take him to Lawrence and turn him over 
to Sheriff Walker who had warrants for his arrest on the charges 
of horse-stealing, burglary, and kidnapping. They intended to 
kill him if he gave them excuse or favorable opportunity. 

Later, Peter Hauser found Captain Snyder and delivered 
his message. Snyder desired to kill Quantrill for his treachery 
at Morgan Walker's, but he wished to kill him under some color 
of justification. He supposed Quantrill would resist arrest, and 
he went to Stanton where he secured from Hauser a warrant 
based upon Quantrill 's crimes at Lawrence. He had with him 
a number of desperate men. The justice obstructed Snyder in 
his plans, prevailing upon him to allow one Jurd, the constable, 
to have the warrant and make the arrest, to be supported by 
Captain Snyder and his men as a posse. Upon their arrival at 


the house of Bennings they found Elias Snyder, Jones, and Mar- 
tin, whom they added to the posse. It was then almost day- 
light. Quantrill was aroused. He stood at bay. He at once 
realized that his chances for life were worth very little just 
then. He said he would fight to the death, and Captain Snyder 
believed that he meant to do it. A long parley ensued between 
Quantrill and Bennings on the one side and Snyder and his men 
on the other side. The constable was finally admitted to the 
house for a conference with Quantrill, it being agreed that 
Snyder and his men were to remain at a distance during the 
negotiations. The constable agreed that Quantrill should have 
protection if he would submit to arrest and go to the office of the 
justice, an arrangement against which Snyder strongly protested. 
When they came out of the house the constable held up Quan- 
trill's pistol to show that he had disarmed the prisoner, but 
Bennings had slipped another heavy pistol to Quantrill. 

Upon the appearance of Quantrill, Adolphus, the son of 
Bennings, was seen to hurry to the stable and take therefrom 
Quantrill's black mare, saddle and mount her and ride like the 
wind in the direction of Paola. On the way to Stanton every 
opportunity was sought to have Quantrill do something which 
would serve as an excuse for killing him, but without success. 
Captain Snyder saw that he would have to act without having 
a pretext, and raised his gun. As he was in the act of firing 
some one knocked up the muzzle of his gun and saved Quantrill 's 
life. The office of the justice was over the store of T. R. Wilker- 
son at Stanton, and Quantrill and his guards went into this store 
where the justice was when they arrived. Quantrill objected to 
being sent to Lawrence, saying he would die before he would 
go there. The justice wished to send him to Lawrence, and it 
is probable that he had sent a courier to bring the sheriff or his 
deputy to Stanton to take Quantrill to Lawrence. Quantrill 
knew he would never live to reach Lawrence. There was much 
talk. At one time Quantrill believed Captain Snyder would 
kill him, and he slunk behind the counter and cowered below 
it. He proposed that he be armed and given a position where 
he could fight it out with his captors, saying that he did not like 
to be shot down like a dog. Captain Snyder 's gun was pushed 


from Quantrill's body more than once. The justice finally 
decided to commit Quantrill to the Paola jail. While the com- 
mitment was being made out John S. Jones seated himself on 
the counter where but one man was between himself and Quan- 
trill, who was also sitting on the counter. Jones all the time 
fumbled at the lock of his Sharps 's rifle, pretending that it was 
out of order. Getting his gun across the lap of his neighbor 
with the muzzle against Quantrill, whose attention was attracted 
elsewhere, he suddenly cocked it and attempted to shoot, but the 
gun missed fire, and Quantrill had again escaped death. 2 

* This account of the capture of Quantrill at the house of Bennings 
is the result of what the author secured from different parties who saw the 
whole affair. The accounts do not agree as to detail. Following is what 
George W. Thompson told the author, Jan. 14, 1906. Mr. Thompson lives 
at No. 1030 Morris Avenue, Topeka, and married Frances, daughter of H. 
V. Beeson. He was one of the posse, and the author wrote his account for 
his Collection, as follows: 

George W. Thompson told of the capture of Quantrill. His account 
differs from that of Shearer. He says that Ely Snyder, the blacksmith, 
of Osawatomie, and his men often made raids into Missouri to get slaves 
and other property, and that Quantrill was frequently with them. On one 
occasion he had no gun or revolver, and as one of the band did not go 
Quantrill took his arms. The raid was successful, and the plunder was 
divided in Osawatomie. Quantrill was not satisfied with the portion fall- 
ing to him and would not give up the arms of the party who could not 
go, but kept them, saying they would just about make him even. He may 
have kept a horse, also, thus angering Snyder, after which he remained at 
Paola much of the time. One day he came from Paola to the house of 
John Bennings, about a mile south of Stanton. As he passed the house 
of William Strong he was recognized, and Strong went to Osawatomie to 
notify Snyder and his men. The next morning some eight or ten of them 
went to the house of Bennings, and Thompson thinks they went there to kill 
Quantrill. Quantrill believed that Snyder and his men would kill him and 
refused to come out of the house, saying that he would fight if they came 
in. They claimed they wanted a settlement on the plunder which they 
had fallen out about. Seeing that Quantrill would not come out, they 
sent one of their party to Samuel Hauser, justice of the peace at Stanton 
and secured a warrant for the arrest of Quantrill for horse-stealing. The 
constable, one Jurd, came to serve the warrant. Quantrill asked him to 
protect his life and Jurd agreed to do so. Then Quantrill came out and 
surrendered to the constable, who summoned, first, however, some half a 
dozen men to defend him, among them Thompson. They took him to the 
office of the justice of the peace, which was over the store of T. E. Wilker- 
son, in Stanton. The justice had sent to Paola for the Sheriff to come out 
as quickly as possible and bring a posse to protect Quantrill and take him 
to Paola. When the men arrived at Wilkerson's store Quantrill was put 
inside and a man placed at each door to keep Snyder and his men out until 
the arrival of the Sheriff. Snyder and his men did not know the Sheriff 
had been sent for. Thompson was placed at the back door of the store. 


The foregoing account of the capture of Quantrill at the 
home of Bennings may not embrace all that occurred on that 
occasion. Captain Ely Snyder says that he become suspicious 
of Jurd, and that he then broke down the door and captured 
Quantrill. That he did this is more than probable, for he was a 

He heard the click of a gun aa it was cocked behind him; he put out his 
hand and knocked the barrel of the gun to one side, and it was jerked 
outside before he could learn who had attempted to shoot Quantrill. The 
Sheriff came and put Quantrill into his buggy and drove away with him 
and put him in jail at Paola. The justice had the papers ready when the 
Sheriff arrived. Thompson says Quantrill did not go up stairs at all. He 
does not remember that Robert Shearer was there at all. Wilkerson was 
a loyal man. 

The account of Quantrill 's riding by Thompson's house was given the 
author by Mrs. Thompson, August 30, 1907. 

In the letter written by Captain Ely Snyder to G. A. Colton, dated 
at Osawatomie, Feb. 14, 1883, now in the Collection of the author, he 
gives his version of the affair, as follows: 

Erly in the spring of 61 I do not now remember the day of the 
month or the month at this time but can get the date of the time to the 
day Late in the Evening Squire Hauser Sent me a message that Quantrill 
was at Bennings I got 5 men to go with me and captive the outlaw and 
bring him to Justice with a inch roap when we came near to Benings I 
left the party and in the woods and went to Hausers House and Hauser 
Advised me to make the arest under the shade of Law as I did not think 
best but Mr Hauser was at the time Justice of the Peace and I gave way 
to his Plan and he Apointed me Constable and then reconsidered it and 
thought best to give the papers in the hand of the Constable which was 
Jurd said that Jurd would be all right Jurd proved to be a friend to 
Quantrell and spoiled the hole Bisness he Jurd told me that he would go 
in and being acquainted with Benings that he had warrant for Quantrell 
to have him run out at the back door and then we could get him but Jurd 
did not do that, he told Quantrell that I had a posse of men out side 
and for him not to go out or I would get him so Jurd made me fals prommas 
and kept me waiting until almost daylight when [I] hured the thing up by 
bursting open the door and stept in the house Quantrell was standing in 
the middle door with a Revolver in each hand Quantrell atempted to rais 
and bring them to range on me when I spoke to [him] and said bill drop 
them revolvers or I will kill you I had my Revolver in range of the place 
wair he Lived he Obaid quick I then told [him] to hand them Revolvers 
to Jurd wich he did he then was taken to Squire Hausers office and Jurd 
and Bening sent to Paola for Millar and White and Potter theas three 
Proslaves came and waved examination and he would go to Jail So the 
Constable Jurd took him to Jail Shortly after that I got a order from 
Sheriff and [he] depetised me [and] ordered me to Bring Wm Quantrell 
to Larrance and turn him over to the athorities of Do[u]glis Co I shoed 
my papers to H. H. Williams and my demand he would have to give up 
the Prisner [He] said he could not go to Paola for 2 hours but would 
send his depety wich was Jim Cree to see that Quantrell was not taken out 
of Jail before we got over and Cree said that Williams told him to go to 
White and tell White that Snyder had a order to take him [Quantrill] to 
Larance and when Williams and Myself came in paola Quantrell was Left 


fearless man. He was also a truthful man, and he would not 
have made any claims not fully justified. The only feature in 
his description that seems improbable is his failing to kill Quan- 
trill when he had the drop on him when he broke down the door 

out of Jail and on the horse that Walker giv Him for his Sirvis of Geting 
Some of the Kansas Abilishens kild. 

The Eev. Kobert Shearer, of Miami county, Kansas, in a letter to the 
author, dated August 30, 1903, now in the Collection of the author, gives 
an account of this affair. He has the date a year too late, saying it was 
in the spring of 1862, when it was in the spring of 1861. There are other 
things in the letter that contradict what others say, as follows: 

Wm C. Quantrell was in Stanton in 1857 & 1858 in 1859 He went 
to Pikes Peak and returned same year. He lived at Lawrence for some 
time but returned to Stanton in 1861 in the early spring of 1862 he was 
living near Stanton with a man by the name of Bening I was in the 
Kansas Militia doing service on the Kan. line it was about the first of 
April 1862 I came home on a short furlow leaving my Horse at Home I 
went to Stanton telling my wife I would be back in one or 2 Hours I 
carried my Eevolver with me as I walked up to the only Store in the 
town Quantrell and a man by the name of Jurd a Constable was standing 
about 30 feet from the Store House I shook Hands with them I saw 
five men Walking very fast coming in our direction about 20 yards off they 
Had Sharps Eifles slung over their Shoulders Mr. Jurd said to me I 
depotise you to Protect Quantrell from those men I knew 2 of them One 
of them Was Elias Snyder the other was called Buckskin as they came 
near one of them drew his gun to shoot Quantrell I knocked the gun up 
and drew my Eevolver and said whats up Quantrell said they are going 
to kill me I said what for he said he did nbt know Quantrell was very 
Pale and Excited I said if there is any shooting I would take a Hand 
in it and ordered Quantrell to go into the Store thoes men had their guns 
cocked and trying to get a shot at him I kept my Pistol Presented in 
their direction saying I would shoot the man that fired the first shot. 
When Quantrell got in the store I held the door there was a ladder 
standing in the center of the Floor reaching to the Sealing I ordered 
Quantrell to enter a square Hole in cealing When he was up I walked 
in and Started up the Ladder saying that the first man that stuck his head 
above the trap door I would kill there was one bed up there I found 
Quantrell sitting on it. They ordered me to come down or they would 
shoot through the floor but they did not know just where we were then 
they said they would burn the house the Store Keeper to save his building 
tried to get us to come down Quantrill said to me to give him my pistol 
and for me to go down and he would sell his life to the best advantage 
I told him he was my prisoner and that I would turn him over to the 
Sheriff I had told Jurd to send some one after the Sheriff and Possey to 
Paola He sent a man by the name of John Billings on Quantrells Horse 
it was 10 miles in less than three hours the Sheriff came with 4 good man 
I turned Quantrell over to them next day they send a Man out to My 
Place for me to Come to Paola I went in they wanted to know why I 
had Quantrell under arest I was in the Jail talking with Quantrell and 
the Sheriff I stated that I had taken him to save his life. In less than 
20 Minutes he was out and gone He went straight for Missouri and took 
the Bush. 


and entered Bennings's house. His mistake seems to have been 
in consulting with Squire Hauser. The officer did his duty and 
saved the life of Quantrill, who stood on the verge of the grave 
a number of times before the gates of the old jail at Paola closed 
upon him. 

The son of Bennings arrived at Paola early in the morning 
bearing a note from Quantrill to the border-ruffian Potter or 
some of the pro-slavery people with whom Quantrill was on inti- 
mate terms. It is possible that Squire Hauser had sent mes- 
sengers to hasten the sheriff. Very soon after the intelligence 
of the posture of affairs arrived at Paola wheeled vehicles left 
that town at flying speed loaded with border-ruffians and pro- 
slavery friends of Quantrill. It was enough to know that an 
accomplice was in trouble and needed help. Potter claims to 
have led the chase, and the whole posse descended upon Stanton 
with that brazen assurance, loud profanity, and vulgar swagger 
then common to the border-ruffians in their attitude and inter- 
course with the Free-State settlers.s They found the commit- 

3 In his rambling way Potter has a long account of this matter in the 
letters written by him and now in the Collection of the author. In that 
dated, Harrison, Arkansas, Jan. 20, 1896, he says: 

A few weeks after this' meeting Hon George W. Miller, called to me 
as I was passing Col Torreys Hotel, one morning early and handed me a 
letter from Quantrell stating that he was at Mr Bannings House, & Sur- 
rounded by some 14 Jayhawkers, who were trying to take him a Prisoner 
on a Fic[ti]tious charge 

I after reading the letter I told Mr. Miller that there was but one 
thing to do & that was to Eaise 14 other men & go over there & take him 
from them and Protect him 

He wanted to know if I could get the men, & how long it would take. 
I replied that I will be ready in 15 Minutes with armed men, & will you 
go for one. he replied certainly 

I sent to the Livery stable & got a Team & three seated Hack I 
called on Lawyer E. W. White Lawyer Robert White Lawyer Massey, Dr. 
W. D. Hoover, Tom Kelley, Goodwin Taylor merchant Lon Light, and 
several others whose names I do not now remember. We went there in a 
sweeping trot in Hacks, Buggies & on Horeseback. no one else in Town 
knew where we were going or any thing about our business, until we came 
back with Quantrell in triumph. We were all armed with Revolvers, Rifles, 
& shot guns, & Plenty of amunition 

I was the first to arrive in the Little Town of Stanton. I went direct 
to the store of Tom Wilkerson, where Quantrell was in custody of the 
constable The store was filled with the 14 Jayhawkers under Capt Snyder 
I walked direct to Quantrell shook hands with him, & said How do you do 
Bill. What are you driving at now? stealing Horses? 

Quantrell. Well they charge me with it. 

Potter: Oh certainly they are all honest men that prefer the charge 


ment papers ready and the justice anxious to have Quantrill 
off his hands alive. He delivered papers and prisoner to the 
sheriff or his representative and bade the ruffians be off, for 
he could restrain the men of Captain Snyder no longer. Quan- 
trill was hurried to Paola, where he was caressed by the Torreys 

against you I suppose. They know nothing about stealing Horses & Nig- 
gers, Robing & Burning Houses, & murdering citizens, from one end of the 
Land to the other. 

Eli Snyder was standing a few feet from us & heard every word I 
said as I wanted him to. He winced & walked a few steps toward the 
door. I stooped down & whispered to Quantrell & said, Bill dont be uneasy. 
I have plenty of men coming. He replied I am not one bit afraid, and 
the same Pleasant & cheerful smile appeared on his lips, that allways 
accompanied him when in danger. Not one sign of fear did he show, 
either by word or act. His Lawyers called for a Private consultation, 
which the Justice granted in the store Boom up stairs. When it was 
decided to Wave his examination & demand a commitment to the county 
jail It was well understood by us that the Justice who was a Jayhawker 
sympathizer & an enemy of Quantrell would prolong the examination by 
summoning one witness after another until reinforcements of Jayhawkers 
could collect & out number & over power us & then take Quantrell out & 
hang him. 

I went to Judd the constable who had Quantrell in charge & asked 
him what he meant by summoning such men as Snyder, & his followers as 
a Posse comitattus, to assist to make an arrest of a citizen accused of 
crime? he replied well Potter I will tell you how it occurred at midnight a 
messenger come to my House & told me the Justice of the Peace wanted 
me. I went there, that Snyder & his men were all there with Arms & 
that they would assist in making the arrest, & save the trouble of disturb- 
ing the Neighbors. I replied, yes you are all very fraid of disturbing 
the country you ought to be ashamed of yourself for selecting such men 
a Possey commitattus 

He handed me the Warrant & affidavit, & said, here Potter take 
these Papers. I will turn the matter over to you. I do not want to have 
any thing more to do with it. 

I took the papers & told him to Dismiss his Jayhawkers & tell them 
he had no further use for them. 

I went to Quantrell & his Lawyers told them what I had done Some 
of our Party were affraid of an attackt on our road to Paola. I told 
Quantrell that I would bring him safe & well to Paola, or never go back 
their alive 

I wrote out the commitment to the county Jail & finally the Justice 
signed it. 

On January 22nd Potter wrote another letter to W. W. Scott in which 
he continues his boasting account. The reader is requested to note with 
what pride he tells of his connection with Quantrill; how he shook hands 
with him and called him "Bill," etc. His additional account is as follows: 

I went down stairs in the store & bought 2 Ibs of Buck shot 1 Box 
of Water Proof caps & 2 Ibs of Rifle Powder, recapped every gun that 
needed it, distributed amunition to all, with orders to use it & take good 
aim in case they made the attack 

I will state here that Justice of the Peace very reluctantly, consented 


and sympathized with by most of the inhabitants. He was 
feasted at the Torrey hotel until night, when he was "accom- 
panied" to the jail, and was secretly given a heavy navy revolver. 
He was also furnished with a large knife with which he later 
assaulted the jailer, and he was assured that he would be pro- 

to Permit Quantrell to wave his examination E. W. White & G W Miller 
his attorneys showed him the law in the case & told him very plainly that 
it was his duty to do so, & had no power or authority to prevent it. Bat 
even then he went down in the store & held a consultation with Eli Snyder 
in low tone of voice. I over heard Snyder remark to him, the Justice 
of the Peace well, it is the only thing that we can do, some other time. 

I frequently interrupted their secret conversation, by telling Mr Jurd 
that we were waiting on him & had no time to waste. Then Jurd finally 
went up stairs, & consented to the waiving of the examination He then 
wanted to go to his office & look up the Form to write out the commitment. 
I handed him a form of commitment which I had allready written out. 
all ready for his Signature. Jurd read it over & finally signed it. In the 
mean time, one of the Jayhawkers, below stated out loud in the store below, 
that we had sent over to Missouri for a Eeinforcement of Two hundred 
Border Ruffians who were then, as he said on their way to Paola to Liberate 
Quantrell, and that Quantrell should never leave there alive & go back to 
Paola. I looked him in the face and told him Plainly that Quantrell was 
going to Paola, according to Law and that I would take him there or else, 
I would strew the road, between here & Paola with dead men, no farther 
threats were made. 

I also summoned, a Deputy Sheriff by the name of Cree, as one of 
my Posse commitatus to Preserve the Peace & assist in guarding Quantrell 
to Paola I also summoned some two others who refused to act. one was 
a Doctor living in Stanton. I do not now remember his name. 

Constable Judd, was sent up stairs, to ask me to search Quantrell 
for a Pistol that he was supposed to have. 

I went to Quantrell, told him that the Snyder gang, wanted him 
searched, & to give me his Eevolver if he had one. he immediately drew 
it from his Breast, & handed it to me, before Judd, got up in the Boom. I 
put it in my breast under my vest. Turning to Jurd I said, Bill they 
think you are armed, let Mr Judd search you then they will be satisfied, 
he Judd done so & remarked, no he has no Weapons went on down before 
us & told them so. as soon as Judd's back was turned I handed Quantrell 
his Revolver, & told him that if they fired one shot, that I would shoot 
Snyder in the face & keep shooting, as long as there was one left, & for 
him to do the same I gave orders for all others to do I came down stairs 
in the Store with Goodwin Taylor & Quantrell & the rest of my Posse 
following me. with my Double barrell shot gun in my left hand, & my 
navy six in my right hand. I commanded the Peace I ordered the mob 
to disperse 

The mob opened & some went out in the street & stood around & 
looked at us, but made no move to attack us. 

The three seated Hack was at the door. Quantrell & G. Taylor 
occupied the Middle seat, three others were in the Hack Lon Light drove 
his Hack. Lawyer E. W. White & Lawyer Massey, rode in Mr. Whitei 
Buggy They all started out of town Dr Hoover, Tom Kelley & my self 
were the hist ones to leave town, no farther threats were made 

Mr Cree, the constable of Ossawatomie Township, & one of the Dep- 


tected, the foremost lawyers of the town being "retained" for 
him, or perhaps they volunteered their services in his behalf. 
Quantrill was regarded by Paola as a guest of honor. But it was 
then a border-ruffian town, as were Fort Scott and Leavenworth 
in the early territorial days. Many disloyal people remained 
there until the Civil War was well under way, but by the con- 
clusion of that struggle it was a loyal Kansas town and has ever 
remained such; the border-ruffians disappeared. 

Quantrill remained in jail for a few days. His friends were 
active in his behalf. They secured a writ of habeas corpus. 
Judge Thomas Roberts issued the writ. When Quantrill was 
produced before him, the judge gave him his liberty. 4 There 
was great rejoicing in the town and Quantrill was again ban- 
quetted at Colonel Torrey's tavern, after which he was loaded 
with delicacies and caresses and escorted to the door, where he 
found "Black Bess" equipped to bear him to Missouri. He 
mounted the nag just as Captain Ely Snyder and H. H. Will- 

uties of Mr Williams who was sheriff of Lykins County at that time since 
changed to its present name Miami County, were each members of the 
Eepublican party. Mr. Cree, by his honorable conduct in this case received 
the commendations, of the Honorable Kepublicans in his party as well as 
the Democrats, for there was a great many members of the Eepublican 
Party in Kansas, that were bitterly opposed to the Jayhawkers & their way 
of doing business. H. H. Williams the sheriff of Lycans County, was 
according to Quantrell's story, a Frequent visitor in Jennison's camp and 
often consulted, with him & he was well known at that time to be a Jayhawk- 
ing Sympathizer In fact after the commencement of the civil War, that Des- 
olated our loved country, H. H. Williams this same sheriff of Miami county 
in May or June 1861 organized a company of Jayhawkers at Ossawatomie, 
led them in Missouri went to, the Little town of West Point on the Border, 
& with his hands in open daylight, Broke down the door of the first store 
that was Bobbed by the Kansas Jayhawkers, at the commencement of the 
war in the state of Missouri. The solid facts of History will accord him 
that high Honor, he was afterwards a colonel of a colored, Eegiment of 
Kansas, Troops, & in 1866, under the Eeconstruction acts he was sheriff 
of Jackson Co Missouri, for one Term. 

4 In the Collection of the author there is a letter written by Thomas 
Boberts to H. V. Beeson. It is dated, Paola, May 16, 1881, and says: 

Afterwards I saw him [Quantrill] in the early summer of 1861 he 
was confined in the County Jail of Miami County (then Lykins Co) 
Kansas. I was then acting as Probate Judge of said County. He was 
taken out and brought before me on a Writ of Habeas Corpus, and by me 
was released from Custody their being no legal cause for his confinement, 
after his release he left Paola going North and that was the last time I 
ever saw him I am confident it was the same W. C. Quantrell that led 
the gang of Bushwhackers that committed so many Atrocities in Kansas 
and Missouri for instance the Lawrence raid. 


iams entered the town with a posse to take him to Lawrence 
upon writs issued by the courts there. Quantrill put his thumbs 
to his nose and made a defiant gesture, and then, leaning for- 
ward in his saddle, patting himself in a still more defiant, vul- 
gar, and insulting gesture, put spurs to his beast and bade a final 
farewell to Kansas. This was the third day of April, 1861, and 
he never returned again except as a spy, murderer, or assassin 
under the cloak of a soldier in the Rebellion.? 

S In his letter dated Jan. 22, 1896, already referred to, Potter tells 
with many a proud boast of the reception tendered Quantrill at Paola, and 
quotations therefrom are made here: 

We got to Paola took supper at Col Torreys Hotel, after supper I 
accompanied Quantrell to the county Jail. I took his Pistol, & after Tom 
Akers, the Jailer searched him, I went in his cell to talk to him, & then 
gave him his Bevolver again, & some caps & amunition I told him in case 
the jail was attackted, to remain, back in his cell, & make every shot tell 
I told him that as soon as I heard one shot that I would be among them 
with some thirty or more armed men and would commence firing on any 
mob, that would attempt to take him out of Jail to mob him he remained 
there some three days before E. W. White, G. W. Miller & my self had him 
brought out of jail on a writ of Habeas corpus, before Mr Roberts, the 
Probate judge who was a Republican, but a man that was strictly Honest, 
& Honorable who Examined the evidence against W. C. Quantrell. He 
asked Tom Akers if he had any farther Evidence against W. C. Quantrell 
or any other authority for Holding W. C. Quantrell a Prisoner. He replied 
that he had not. Turning to Quantrell he said to him, you are discharged 
from custody & at Liberty to go where you pleas. W. C. Quantrell & 
Myself immediately went to the Hotel, which was kept by Col Torrey. 
where, a hasty Lunch, of cake, Bread & butter, & sandwich's, was hastily 
Prepared by the Ladies of the Hotel & col Torrey. While hurriedly filling 
his over coat Pocket with them said to W. C. Quantrell you well know that 
you are always welcome, & that we are allways glad to see you. But you 
see, What danger you have incurred. What trouble you have got your 
friends in to in assisting you. and now do not come back here any more 
until this matter is, all settled & come here no more, until You can come 
with out danger to your self & Friends, he promised to follow his advice. 

I had his fine Black Hors fed, saddled & Bridled & wating for him. 
I gave him directions which road to take to avoid meeting Snyders men, 
who were guarding the Road to West Point Missouri Expecting to, meet 
him & Recapture him on his Way to Missouri W. C. Quantrell mounted 
his horse, & went out of town in a Lope, Waving his Revolver over his 
head & was soon lost to view He arrived at Squiresville some 14 Miles 
distant in less than two hours after, leaving Town & went [to] Little 
Santa Fee & Missouri the same evening 

Following is a certified transcript of the records of Miami county in 
this proceeding against Quantrill: 



To any Constable of Stanton Township in said County Greeting: 
Whereas W. C. Quantrill has this day been brought before me on a 


warrant issued from my office this 26th day of March 1861, charged with 
the crime of Larceny on the Oath of Eli Snyder, and whereas the Defendant 
W. C. Quantrill this day waives his examination before me this 26th day 
of March 1861. 

These are therefore to command you to take the Body of the said 
W. C. Quantrill and him safely keep and deliver him forthwith without 
delay to the Keeper of the County Jail in the City of Paola, there to 
remain until discharged by due course of Law. 

Witness my hand and seal this 26th day of March 1861. 

Samuel H. Houser 

Justice of Peace 

I, Samuel H. Houser, a Justice of the Peace, certify that the above 
warrant is a true copy of an original one filed in my office, this April 2, 

Samuel H. Houser 

Justice of Peace 

Before me, Samuel H. Houser a Justice of the Peace for said County 
personally came Eli Snyder who being duly sworn according to law deposeth 
and saith that on or about the March 1st 1861 that there was a horse 
stolen near Sumner in this State, also one horse stolen near Atchison in 
this State, and different other crimes have been committed, and this 
deponent says or does verily believe that one Quantrill is guilty of the facts 
charged, and further this deponent saith that according to good authority 
and report, the Sheriff of Lykins County has a writ at this time for the 
above named Quantrill. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 26th day of March 1861. 

Samuel H. Houser 

Justice of Peace 
Eli Snyder. 

I, Samuel H. Houser, a Justice of the Peace, certify that the above 
Affidavit is a true copy of an original one filed in my office April 2, 1861. 

Samuel H. Houser 

Justice of Peace 



Whereas complaint has been made before me, Samuel H. Houser, 
Justice of the Peace, in and for the County of Lykins upon the oath of 
Eli Snyder that one Quantrill, late of the County of Lykins, did on or 
about March 1st 1861 steal and take from the owner near Sumner in this 
State, one horse, and different other crimes that are alleged to the charge of 
said Quantrill, and according to good report, the Sheriff of this County has 
at this time a writ for said Quantrill. These are therefore to command you 
to take the said Quantrill, if he can be found in your State and take and 
safely keep the said Quantrill, so that you have his body forth with before 
me to answer the said complaint according to Law. 

Given under my hand this 26th day of March 1861. 

Samuel H. Houser 

Justice of Peace 

I, S. H. Houser, a Justice of the Peace, certify that the within com- 
mittment is a true copy of the original. 

April 2, 1861. Samuel H. Houser J. P. 





docket $ 






3 papers 








Const. Cost 

Mileage to 
Ser. warrant 


Sum. 13 mentto 

take Quantril 3 . 
Taken to Jail 


Sum. 3 men 


Milage 1 . 




I, Samuel H. 
a true copy of an 

Eli Snyder for State. 

Before me, Samuel H. Houser a Justice of the Peace 
for said Lykins County, personally came Eli Snyder 
who being duly sworn according to law says there 
was a warrant issued to Constable E. B. Jurd on 
26th day of March 1861. Warrant served on pris- 
oner in custody. 

E. B. Jurd Const. 

March 26th 1861 

Case called. Prisoner waived the right of examin- 
ation and was committed to jail in the custody of 
E. B. Jurd Constable to await further trial accord- 
ing to Law. 

Samuel H. Houser 

Justice of Peace 

March 30, 1861. Mittimus Returned. Prisoner de- 
livered to the jailer, also a copy of Mittimus. Given 
under my hand this 1st day of April, 1861. 
8. H. Houser 

Justice of Peace 

Houser, a Justice of the Peace, certify that the within 
original transcript of my docket. April 2nd 1861. 
Samuel H. Houser 

Just. Peace. 


Your petitioner W. C. Quantrill would most respectfully represent to 
your Honor that he is unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of his liberty by 
Thomas Akers, Jailer in the jail in the City of Paola, County and State 
first above mentioned, and your petitioner W. C. Quantrill further avers 
that on or about the 26th day of March A. D. 1861 upon the oath of one 
Eli Snyder before S. H. Houser, a Justice in Stanton Township, County 
and State aforesaid, your petitioner was arrested and brought before the 
said Houser on a charge of horse stealing and other crimes alleged to have 
been committed on or about of March A. D. 1861 at or near Sumner and 
Atchison in this State. Your petitioner further states that the said arrest 
was malicious, false and illegal, and in proof of this would state First. 
That the places designated in said Affidavit are not in the bounds of this, 
Lykins County. Second, That the said Justice of the Peace, 8. H. Houser 
had no right to hear an examination, and commit the said Quantrill, not 
having jurisdiction in this said case. Third. That the said Justice had 
no power to waive an examination. Fourth. That the said Justice erred 
in not fixing bail in the said case. Fifth. That the said Affidavit does not 
charge your petitioner with having stolen any particular horse nor from 
whom stolen, nor whether there was property or ownership in the said 
property. Sixth. And for other good and sufficient reasons set forth by 
the papers here to attached marked (A) and made a part of this petition, 
the same being copies of the Affidavit, Warrant and other papers in the 
case under the hand of the said S. H. Houser J. P. Wherefore your peti- 
tioner prays that he may be released from said confinement, and restored 


to his liberty by your Honor. Seventh. And that he further states that 
on the day set apart for his examination before the said S. H. Houser, 
Justice of the Peace, that the reason of his waiving his right to investiga- 
tion and examination, that an armed -body of men surrounded the said 
prisoner and the Court, and that he was under duress and great bodily 
harm, and even death itself was threatened. Eighth. The Affidavit in 
the above entitled cause sets forth no sufficient cause for a warrant to 
issue against the said Petitioner. All of which he respectfully submits. 

W. C. Quantrill 

The affiant W. C. Quantrill being duly sworn says that the facts set 
forth in the foregoing petition is true to the best of his knowledge and 

W. C. Quantrill 

Sworn to before me and subscribed in my presence this 2nd day of 
April A. D. 1861. 

Seal Thomas Eoberts 

Probate Judge. 

Now on this 3rd day of April A. D. 1861 comes W. C. Quantrill and 
files his petition for a writ of Habeas Corpus to reclaim the body of the 
said W. C. Quantrill from the custody of Thomas Akers, jailer of said 
Lykins County, State of Kansas, for the reason that the said W. C. Quan- 
trill is illegally detained by the said jailer, and restrained of his liberty 
contrary to law. Whereupon a writ of Habeas Corpus was duly issued to 
said jailer and W. L. Potter authorized to serve the same. Now comes 
Thomas Akers, jailer of Lykins County and returns the above writ with the 
body of the above W. C. Quantrill. It appearing to the Court the offence 
for which the said W. C. Quantrill was committed to the custody of the 
said jailer was one of which the said Samuel H. Houser, Justice of the 
Peace of said County had no jurisdiction. The jurisdiction being in a 
Justice of County where said offence was alleged to have been committed. 
Ordered and adjudged that the said W. C. Quantrill be discharged from 
further custody of the jailer of said Lykins County, and he is hereby 
discharged from the same. 

Thomas Eoberts 

Probate Judge. 

To Thomas Akers, jailer of said County, You are hereby commanded 
to have the body of W. C. Quantrill, now imprisoned and restrained of his 
liberty by you, by virtue of a Mittamus issued by one Samuel H. Houser, 
a Justice of the Peace in and for said County, in the State of Kansas, 
together with the time and cause of said imprisonment and detention before 
me the undersigned Judge of the Probate Court in and for the County of 
Lykins and State of Kansas without delay to do and receive what shall 
then and there be considered cencerning the person imprisoned. 

In testimony whereof I, Thomas Eoberts, Judge of the Probate Court 
in and for said County of Lykins, and State of Kansas have hereunto 
set my hand and affixed my official seal at Paola this 3rd day of April 
A. D. 1861. 

Thomas Eoberts 

Seal Probate Judge. 

I hereby authorize W. L. Potter to serve the within process. 

Thomas Eoberts 

Probate Judge. 


Received the within writ by delivering it to Thos. Akera at 15 minutes 
past ten o'clock A. M. of the 2nd day of April 1861. 

W. L. Potter Ms. 

Received the within writ at 17 minutes past ten o'clock A. M. of the 
2nd day of April 1861. Executed by bringing the prisoner W. C. Quantrill 
into the custody of the Court. 

Thos. Akers 




I, Thos. Hodges, sole Judge and ex-officio Clerk of the Probate Court, 
within and for the County aforesaid, do hereby certify the foregoing to be 
a true Copy of Habeas Corpus proceedings in the matter of the State of 
Kansas vs W. C. Quantrill, as the same appears from the records of said 

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I, have hereunto set 
my hand and affixed the Seal of said Court at 
Paola Kansas this llth day of March A. D. 1908. 
Probate Judge Thos. Hodges, 

SEAL Probate Judge and 

Miami County, Kansas ex-officio Clerk. 


I, Thos. Hodges, sole Judge of the Probate Court, within and for 
said County, the same being a Court of Law and Record, hereby certify 
that the signature attached to the above certificate, purporting to be that 
of Thos. Hodges is his genuine signature, and that he was at the time 
thereof ex-officio Clerk of said Probate Court, and as such full faith and 
credit are due his acts, and that the attestation of said clerk is in due form 
of law, and by the proper officer. 

WITNESS my hand and the seal of said Court, at 

Paola, Kansas, this llth day of March, 1908. 
Probate Judge Thos. Hodges, 

SEAL Probate Judge. 

Miami County, Kansas. 



QUANTRILL returned to Jackson county much discour- 
aged. Those who saw him in those distressed days say 
he was despondent. His efforts to stimulate business had 
terminated disastrously. He realized that he was lucky to 
escape from Captain Snyder with his life, and for this great 
good fortune he was duly thankful. In his revengeful heart, how- 
ever, he treasured his humiliation to another day when he might 
exact a bloody retribution. His experience had demonstrated 
that his future field could not be in Kansas unless he crossed 
the border with an adequate force. But his operations had 
been conducted hitherto with few men. Skulking like a craven 
about cow-pens, horse-corrals, and isolated negro-quarters along 
the skirts of Missouri had been his ideal life, and the possibility 
of a command had not occurred to him. The future appeared 
black, barren, fruitless. From Kansas he seemed shut out for- 
ever, and he could no longer prey upon the Missourians. If 
he should steal slaves could he escape with them? In this 
dilemma he had no intention of going about any honest work, 
and it began to appear that in exchanging Kansas for Missouri 
he had made a poor bargain, even though the blood of three men 
cried from the ground in his exultant ears as the result of it. 
Such characters can only live and thrive in troublous times, 
in disrupted conditions, in a disturbed state, in a disordered 
society. While the times were out of joint indeed, so novel and 
unusual were they that the possibilities in his lines did not reveal 
themselves sufficiently for him to perceive them. Missouri was 
just entering on that vacillating course which made her ridicu- 
lous in the eyes of both the North and the South and ended in 
humiliation. From the pleasant pursuit of pushing slavery into 
other countries she was compelled to bestir herself to save the 
ignominious institution within her own bounds. Atchison and 


other leaders of border-ruffian hordes headed slave caravans to 
Texas and Louisiana. From crusaders for the extension of 
human slavery they became exiles for a forlorn hope. 

In such times petty characters are swept aside and forgot- 
ten. Quantrill was stranded and overlooked. Realizing his 
insignificance, he cast about him to see if perchance there might 
not appear some safe port, be it ever so foul and disreputable, 
where he could furl his sail and outride the storm. He renewed 
his visits to the home of Morgan Walker. In his extremity there 
was an attraction there which he could not resist and upon which 
he fixed his hopes a daughter who had been divorced from 
her husband because of her own shortcomings. 1 Indeed, some 
have believed that it was on account of Nannie (or Anna) 
Walker Slaughter that Quantrill planned and executed the 

i In relation to Quantrill and the daughter of Morgan Walker, it de- 
velops that Walker had a daughter named Nannie (or Anna). She married 
a very respectable and good man named Slaughter, who was a merchant at 
Blue Springs. He is also said to have been a physician. She was a fine- 
looking woman. But for her nose, which was crooked and gross, giving her 
a sensual look, she would have been beautiful. Her form is said to have 
been fine. There was a doctor boarding with Slaughter. There came a 
very cold spell of weather one winter. In the room of the physician there 
was no fireplace, and she made a bed upon the floor in the room of herself 
and husband where there was a fire in which the doctor was to sleep until 
the weather moderated. One night Slaughter was awakened by his wife's 
getting back into bed with him, and his suspicions were aroused; but he 
said nothing. The following night he feigned sleep, and his wife left 
his bed and lay down upon that occupied by the physician, remaining there 
a long time. Slaughter, when convinced of his wife's infidelity, arose to 
kill the doctor, but that worthy escaped. He at once obtained a divorce 
from his wife, and she returned to the home of her father. This was a 
short time before the raid on Morgan Walker's home by Quantrill and his 
companions. She had a number of lovers, among them George Todd and 
Quantrill. In April, 1862, Joe 'Vaughan married her. He took her to 
Clay county, or to some place north of the Missouri river, and kept her 
there until after the close of the war. He was never again with Quantrill 
nor with the Confederate army. Morgan Walker died about the close of 
the war, and his daughter inherited her part of his land, which she sold, 
and with the proceeds set up a bawdy house at Baxter Springs. After 
receiving her money she told Vaughan she had no further use for him and 
made him leave. She was a woman after Quantrill 's own heart, and it may 
be that some acquaintance with her caused him to plan the Morgan Walker 
raid as a means of winning her to himself. 


treacherous plot to betray his companions to death. She was to 
become heir to a large tract of land, slaves, and money, and 
these things appealed to Quantrill. To his mind, the consum- 
mation of such betrayal would make him a hero in the eyes of 
women, and with this particular woman he may have been 
correct in his judgment. But even this debasing design failed 
him and came to naught. 

In the spring of 1861 Gill moved to Texas, and Quantrill, 
in desperation and overflowing with resentment for what he 
termed the ingratitude of the Missourians, went there with him. 
That country, however, did not seem to please him, and he soon 
left it and went to the Cherokee Nation. The irresponsible life 
of the Indian suited Quantrill. In the land of the Cherokees 
he lived with Joel Mayes, a thrifty and prosperous man of only 
part Cherokee blood, and who, many years after the war, was 
elected Head Chief of the Nation. Mayes espoused the cause 
of the Confederacy and was captain of a company or band of 
Cherokees who followed General Ben. McCulloch to Missouri. 
Quantrill was with this company, but it is not known that he was 
a member of it, though he always claimed to have fought witlTit 
at the battle of Wilson Creek. The Indian mode of warfare had 
a great charm for Quantrill, and later he copied it almost 
entirely, even to the custom of scalping the dead. At Wilson 
Creek the Indians hung about the skirts of the battle and gath- 
ered all manner of plunder and army-drift, including not a few 
scalps, in all of which Quantrill participated. 

Quantrill deserted his Indian friends after the battle of 
Wilson Creek and followed General Price north to the Missouri 
river. Why he did this can only be conjectured, for the Indian 
life was to his liking. It can be accounted for, perhaps, by 
remembering his infatuation for the fallen daughter of Morgan 
Walker. Women of such character ever had great influence 
over him, even where there was no property consideration 
involved. And the tightening of army rules and the enforce- 
ment of discipline as General Price's army assumed a higher 
organization served to dispel the Indian forces which had oper- 
ated with it, and while he did not relish the strict routine of the 
life of the regular soldier, Quantrill saw in it numerous pos- 


sibilities in the line of his inclinations. Unlimited license 
attracted him. The unsettling of society along the border, due 
to the war, and which he now began to perceive, held illim- 
itable charms for him, a foic^taste of which he had enjoyed in 
the capacities of Jayhawker and border-ruffian. 

Quantrill is identified in the battle of the Drywood, east of 
Fort Scott, September 2, 1861. Colonel Moonlight there made 
a daring attack on the Confederate main body, the audacity of 
it alone saving him from destruction, for the enemy supposed 
he was supported by the whole Union force. Turning sharply 
to the north out of a deep ravine in pursuit of scattered pickets 
or scouts, he suddenly rode out on the prairie in front of the 
enemy's army. He hurried forward a small cannon he had with 
him and commanded it to open fire upon the batteries of the 
Confederates. The gunner made two shots, neither one effective. 
In disgust Moonlight sprang from his horse, wheeled the gun 
about, aimed it himself, and fired. The shot struck a Confeder- 
ate gun which was pouring out grape, dismounting it and send- 
ing it turning end over end several yards into the ranks marshaled 
behind. Then, before the astonished enemy could recover from the 
surprise of the whole proceeding, Moonlight turned and marched 
his company away unmolested. Quantrill was near this dis- 
mounted gun and afterwards described the occurrence to a cap- 
tive Union soldier, one who had stood by Moonlight at the time. 2 

2 Lieutenant Eeuben A. Eandlett, Company A, Fifth Kansas, who 
lives, 1908, in Topeka. Kandlett described the action of Colonel Moonlight 
to the author. He was standing near the gun and saw it aimed by Moon- 
light and witnessed the destruction of the enemy's gun by the shot. 
Eandlett was afterwards captured by Quantrill at Aubry and retained 
by him for several weeks, being finally released, an account of which will 
appear later in this volume. 

In a conversation with Cyrus Leland, Jr., the author was told that 
Colonel Moonlight had been an artillery officer in the regular army. At 
Osceola, Moonlight and Colonel Wear sat discussing the merits of artillery. 
The court-house was in plain view of them. Moonlight pointed to a small 
howitzer and said that with it he could put a ball between two windows 
in the building, which he designated. Colonel Wear doubted it and Moon- 
light wheeled the gun into position and fired it, hitting the mark. Colonel 
Wear said it was an accident. Moonlight designated two other windows 


Quantrill was with Price as a nondescript at the siege and 
battles of Lexington. He is described as having worn there at 
the siege a red shirt and a waving black plume, inspired, doubt- 
less, by his association with the Indians. At Lexington energy 
and bravery have been attributed to him.s 

In the retreat of the Confederate troops, Quantrill, it is 
said, followed General Price as far south as the Osage, where his 
taste for the life of a soldier in the regular service seems to have 
vanished altogether. He turned back and soon arrived once 
more in Jackson county. Having been cast and schooled in 
petty villainies, he could not comprehend the broad principles 
for which the Confederacy contended. To him warfare was 
nothing without opportunity for assassination and plunder. He 
again assumed the role of detective and soon reported to Mor- 
gan Walker that some people from Kansas were robbing citizens 
in wfcat was then known as the Stone neighborhood, four miles 
north of Blue Springs. Andrew J. Walker (or "Andy" Walker, 
as he was called) raised eleven men, of whom Quantrill was one, 
and went to find the marauders, who were traced to the house of 
a citizen named De Witt, which they had just left when their 
pursuers arrived. They were followed to the farm 'of Strawder 
Stone, where they had robbed the house, in doing which one of 
them had struck Mrs. Stone on the head with a pistol for her 
sharp and righteous reproof. Walker and his party came up 
with them as they were coming out of the house of one Thomp- 
son, a quarter of a mile beyond Stone's, mounting to depart. 

between which he would put a ball, which, when he did, convinced Colonel 
Wear of his splendid ability as an artillery officer. 

3 In his Noted Guerrillas, Major Edwards has the following: 

As a private he served with conspicuous daring in the battles of 
Carthage, Wilson's Creek, and Lexington, but especially at the latter place 
did his operations in presence of the enemy attract attention. Mounted 
there on a splendid horse, armed with a Sharpe's carbine and four navy 
revolvers, for uniform a red shirt, and for oriflame a sweeping black 
plume, he advanced with the farthest, fell back with the last, and was always 
cool, deadly, and omnipresent. General Price himself notorious for be- 
ing superbly indifferent under fire remarked his bearing and caused 
mention to me made of it most favorably. 

General Price made no mention of Quantrill in his official report of 
the battle of Lexington. The notice above referred to has not been found. 

Quantrill was not in the battle of Carthage. When it was fought 
he was yet in Texas or the Cherokee Nation. 


Walker and his party there charged them, killing the man who 
had struck Mrs. Stone, and wounding two others, both of whom 
died at Independence later. Walker says these marauders 
burned the houses of both Stoilc and Thompson, but this is not 
confirmed. They must have been acting under authority, for the 
civil officers took note of the matter, and both Stone and Thomp- 
son were arrested for murder and arraigned before Judge High- 
tower. Quantrill appeared before the justice and made affidavit 
that he had himself done the killing, and that neither Stone nor 
Thompson were guilty, and they were released; but it does not 
appear that Quantrill was detained in custody. The soldier 
killed by Quantrill at Stone's was the first Federal soldier killed 
in Jackson county, Mo., in the Civil War. 

This occurrence seems to have put Quantrill forward mate- 
rially. He became the ruling spirit of the nebula which devel- 
oped later into his guerrilla band. A deserter from Price's 
army named Searcy arrived in Jackson county about Christmas, 
1861, and began to rob citizens. Quantrill and his men captured 
him, though not because of the robberies of which he was guilty, 
but because he had attempted to shoot Quantrill. The band 
took Searcy to the Little Blue and there hung him. From long 
practice and its frequent perpetration murder was becoming 
easy to Quantrill, and he foresaw a rich harvest in that field for 
the future.* 

Probably the first real contest with an armed force engaged 

4 The statements of Andrew J. Walker are the principal authority for 
the account of Quantrill 's operations after deserting Price at the Osage 
and his return to Jackson county. In his letter of February 3, 1883, al- 
ready referred to, he says: 

He stayed a part of the balance of the winter at Mark Gill's, was 
back and forth to my father's several times during the winter. He went 
with Gill to Texas in the spring of 1861; but in the summer returned to 
the Cherokee Nation and stayed a time with a Cherokee named Joel Mayes. 
He staid there until the battle of Springfield, Mo., between Generals 
Lyon and McCulloch. Sometime after that he returned to my fathers. I 
think it was about the first of October, 1861. Shortly after he returned, 
some Kansas men came into the neighborhood robbing. I got 11 men to- 
gether, Quantrill with me and we started on the hunt of them. Coming 
onto them we fired into them. It was near old Mr. Thompson's house and 
they accused Thompson and Stone of the affair. They burned their houses 
and taking them prisoners were going to kill them; but Quantrill to save 
them from death went to a Justice of the Peace and made oath that it was 
he who did it and that neither Thompson or Stone knew any thing of it. 


in by Quantrill and his men was in Independence. It occurred 
shortly after the Strawder Stone affair. In the Rush Bottom 
there was organized a band of Homeguards. These were in 
Independence one day, and Quantrill and his men rode into the 

The Union troops then attempted to catch him. He then began his 
Guerilla warfare and became chief of the band. 

In his letter dated Feb. 22, 1883, Walker says: 

The time I spoke of firing on those Kansas men, it was in Missouri 
about three miles from where I lived. Stone and Thompson were both old 
settlers in Missouri. I was not with Quantrill all the time during the war. 
I went .south shortly after we fired into that squad near Thompson's and 
returned in the latter part of the summer of '61 [He means 1862, for 
it was late in the fall of 1861 when he fired on the Kansas men at 
Thompson's. W. E. C.] and he went south the same fall. I staid with 
Capt. Todd who was leading officer that winter. Quantrill returned in the 
spring of '63 and I staid with him till March of '64; but he went to 
Texas with his men in the fall of '63 where he stayed all winter on Eed 
Eiver. Early in 1864 he started north for Missouri. Myself and others 
went to Old Mexico and I never saw him again. 

In the Kansas City Journal, May 12, 1888, there is printed an inter- 
view with Walker, in which he says: 

He stopped with Marcus Gill, father of Judge Turner A. Gill. Early 
in the spring of 1861 he went to Texas, but he did not stay there long. 
He went into the Cherokee Nation, where he put up with Joe Mays, the 
present chief. He went with a company of Cherokees, of which Mays 
was Captain, to Springfield, and took part in the battle at that place, in 
which General Lyon was killed. He returned to Jackson County soon after 
General Price captured General Mulligan at Lexington. A week later he 
reported to my father that some Kansas men were robbing people down in 
what is called the Stone neighborhood, which is four miles north of Blue 
Springs. I got eleven men together that day and evening. Quantrill and 
my younger brother Zaeh were away, but they returned next morning. We 
then got on our horses and went after the robbers. They had gone from 
De Witt's house to Strawder Stone's farm, where they plundered his resi- 
dence. Mrs. Stone got angry at them and talked pretty sharp to them, 
and one of them struck her on the head with his pistol. We overtook them 
just as they were coming out of Mr. Thompson's house, a quarter of a mile 
from Mr. Stone's house. They had just mounted their horses. We put 
spurs to our horses when we saw them, and as we neared them, fired, 
killing the man who struck Mrs. Stone with his pistol. Two others were 
wounded, both of whom, it was reported, died at Independence subsequently. 
We then dispersed. The next day Stone and Thompson were taken to 
Independence, and 'Squire Hightower investigated the death of the man 
killed. Quantrill went before the justice and informed him that Stone and 
Thompson had nothing to do with the killing, and that he and others were 
responsible. The result was that they were exonerated. Then the Federals 
in Independence wanted Quantrill, but he kept out of their way. I give 
you these details because I want the public to know just how Quantrill 
began his celebrated career as a guerrilla and bushwhacker. He was at 
that time just like the rest of us. He was content to be one of the 
privates. I was, in fact, during the fight at Stone's farm, the leader. 
About Christmas of that year George Searcy came into Jackson County and 


town also. The Homeguards took refuge in the court house. 
There was much^shooting back and forth; the Homeguards run- 
ning out of the building to shoot at the guerrillas as they went 
around a corner. In one of these sorties, Bill Haller captured a 
Homeguard named Smiley after he (Haller) had shot out every 

began robbing Union men of their horses and mules. Quantrill had by that 
time become the leading spirit among the guerrillas. I had, in obedience 
to the advice of my father, returned to the farm, and given up bushwhack- 
ing. Quantrill and his men captured Searcy, and took him to a point on 
the Little Blue Eiver and hanged him. I was not a member of the band 
then, but I went along and helped hang Searcy. He was a rebel soldier, 
who had been with Price in every battle up to the time he left the com- 
mand. A short time before his death he waylaid Quantrill and attempted 
to shoot him. 

I went to Arkansas in February, 1862. I got back just before the 
fight at Independence in the summer of that year. In the winter of 1862 
I went to Colonel Burris at Wyandotte, and surrendered to him. He gave 
me protection papers. But Colonel Penick arrested me in Independence 
and put me in prison there. It was all my Union friends could do to keep 
him from hanging me. In order to get out of prison I joined the Federal 
army. I was given a furlough of ten days, but I never returned. The 
ninth day I was going to Captain George Todd's camp. I met Mathew 
Scott, a Union man who had protected me. He asked me where I was 
going. I told him I was going to join Captain Todd's bushwhackers. He 
said: "You are joking, ain't you?" I said, "No." "Well", said he, 
"I'm going to town and they will ask me about you, what shall I tell 
Colonel Penick t" "Tell him to go to h 1", I replied. I went to Cap- 
tain Todd's camp. He told me to go back home and fix up quarters in the 
brush and stay there all winter. John Koger, William Cox, Alf Ketchum 
and myself fixed up a board shanty in the brush. Colonel Penick was 
determined to capture me. He searched every house in the neighborhood. 
The second night we were in our shanty it snowed about four inches. 
Next day the Federal scouts saw our smoke and that night Penick came 
with eighty men and surrounded us. I was stripped to my underclothing 
and was barefooted. Ketchum ran out of the shanty and was shot down. 
I was the next man out, and I went too fast for the bullets. Koger was 
badly wounded and was captured. Cox escaped. I went one mile bare- 
footed in the snow to my own house. I had no clothes there to put on. 
As it happened there was an old pair of pants that had been left by 
Fletch Taylor, one of Quantrill 's most noted men. They only reached to 
my knees. I put them on. I also put on a boy's hat, a negro woman's 
shoes and a bed blanket. I then bade my wife and child good-by, and 
told the colored woman to scatter corn, when she fed the hogs, in my tracks 
so that they would be blotted out in the snow. I took the big road to 
within two miles of Independence. Two days later I joined Captain Todd. 
He then had ten men. We staid all winter in the Lake hills, near Lake 

Judge A. J. Liddil, of Independence, in the Kansas City Star, Jan. 
5, 1905, describes Quantrill 's recovery of some cattle about this time. He 
also says that Quantrill 's father was suspected of having been a counter- 
feiter, and he may have handled counterfeit money in his strolling capacity 
of tinker and book-peddler. Judge Liddil, in this article, says that he 


load in his pistols. He pretended that his pistols were loaded 
and commanded Smiley to surrender, and he did so. Quantrill 
could not dislodge the Homeguards and got three or four of his 
men wounded, among them Bennett Wood. 

Times began to improve for Quantrill. From this date they 
became more and more to his liking. Disorders followed imme- 

was the first leader of the Quantrill band, a claim others do not admit. 
He says: 

Quantrill had come to Independence some time before I was directed 
by General Price and Governor Jackson to do what I could to restore 
order. All we knew of him was that he had some reputation as a fighter 
and his own statement to me that his family had been compelled to leave 
one of the states because his father was suspected of being a counter- 

There had been a great deal of horse and cattle stealing going on 
about Independence in those troublesome times, and I had information 
that caused me to strongly suspect a gang of renegades from Kansas. Just 
as I was preparing to start in pursuit of them, Quantrill asked that he 
be allowed to join my party. I consented and he became one of us, being 
probably about the ninth to join. We captured the leader of the gang 
of thieves, with more than a hundred horses and a large number of 
cattle. The thief we held court on, I acting as judge advocate, and we 
condemned him to death and executed the sentence. The horses and cattle 
were returned to their owners, those who could afford it being required to 
pay $10 a head for the return of the horses. 

This affair led to the belief, or pretended belief, on the part of 
Union soldiers stationed in Kansas City that I and my men were in league 
with the horse thieves, and merely returned the stolen property as a ruse 
for extorting money from our neighbors. As a consequence, we were made 
the object of an attack some time later, during which I had a narrow 
escape from capture, being shot at, I think, at least 500 times. . . . Be- 
cause of my family, I was compelled to be away from the company a good 
deal, and it was decided to elect a leader who should have direct command 
and plan our movements. The men offered me the place, but I declined 
it, and their next choice was Quantrill. 

The errors of Major Edwards must be still further refuted. He 

In May, 1861, Quantrell enlisted in Captain Stewart's company of 
cavalry, an organization composed of hardy settlers from what was then 
known as the Kansas Neutral Lands. 

As already shown, Quantrill went to Texas early in 1861 with Marcus 
Gill and did not return until he drifted in behind General Price's army. 
So, this statement of Major Edwards is not true. 

The description of the hanging of Searcy is given by Edwards: 

One Searcy, claiming to be a Southern man, was stealing all over 
Jackson county and using violence here and there when he could not suc- 
ceed through persuasion. Quantrell swooped down upon him one afternoon, 
tried him that night, and hung him the next morning. Before they pulled 
him up, he essayed to say something. He commenced: "Not so fast, gen- 
tlemen! It's awful to die until red hands have had a chance to wash them- 


diately upon the beginning of hostilities, and where there were 
disorder and relaxation of the operation of law Quantrill could 
prosper. His course began to define itself. The lowering of 
the dark clouds of war and strife was really the lifting of the 
mists for Quantrill. His problem, as he read it, consisted in 
making the Missouri people believe that he was devoted to their 
cause from principle, hence, he was born in Maryland and was 
a Southerner by birth. To this fiction was added still another 
older brother, one who was serving in Lee's Army of Virginia. 
Quantrill worked the elder-brothers business on the Missourians 
very successfully. These mythical brothers stood him in good 
stead many times. Knowledge of them always came through 
women to whom he paid attentions. When men made inquiry 
of him he observed a studied silence. It was easy to deceive a 
devoted woman, and as a means of spreading intelligence an 
enthusiastic woman can never be surpassed. 

Then, too, QuantrilPs experience in Kansas had convinced 
him that he could no longer deal doubly that he must now 
be one thing or the other, else he would soon front a file of grim 
guerrillas lined up to produce a subject for a short quick funeral. 
So he gave his entire energy and talents to the insidious warfare 
in which he engaged. 

selves." Here his voice was strangled like the voice of a man who has 
no saliva in his mouth. Pour Guerrillas dragged on the rope. There 
seemed to be as his body rested at last from its contortions the noise 
as of the waving of wings. Could it be that Searcy's soul was taking its 
flight! Seventy-five head of horses were found in the dead man's pos- 
session, all belonging to citizens of the county, and any number of title 
deeds to lands, notes, mortgages, and private accounts. All were returned. 

It will be noted that Searcy was a member of General Price's army. 
It is very strange that that admission is made. According to all rules 
he should have been charged up to Kansas. 

Searcy was the man of whom Judge Liddil gave an account in the 
quotation from the Kansas City Star. It will be observed that Judge 
Liddil does charge him up to Kansas. 



TO UNDERSTAND properly the events which transpired 
in Missouri after the Civil War began something of the 
political conditions existing there must be set down here. 

By the commencement of the year 1862 matters pertaining 
to the war had found permanent alignment in Missouri. He 
that was then for the Union remained so, and he that was for 
the Confederacy stood for it to the end. The division was sharp, 
often cutting quite through families father from son, brother 
from brother. Feeling reached a higher point than in any other 
state. There was deeper and more lasting bitterness between 
the people of Missouri than existed in any other part of the land. 
Neighbors with no cause for quarrel beyond Union and dis- 
Union became enemies relentless and cruel as death. They 
pursued and harried one another with sword and torch. Assas- 
sination was rampant for years. And for why? The Missour- 
ian is kind, hospitable, generous, tolerant, open-hearted. He is 
charitable above all others. He will ride through heat or snow 
or storm to relieve distress. Bred on a generous soil, he is broad 
of shoulder, a man of affairs, and more generally of liberal for- 
tune than the people of other States. General intelligence was 
always of a high order in Missouri. Missouri is the mother of the 
West. Her people are a thinking people, independent and self- 
reliant. They are now and have been from the first the most con- 
servative body of people in the Union. They adhere to the simple 
principles proclaimed by our fathers with more unanimity and 
greater tenacity than the people of any other State. They are 
sane and safe, and they are as progressive as the most theoretical 
could desire. They have less demagogy in public life than 
can be found in any other country of equal size in the world. 
And as soldiers they have never been surpassed on earth. 

It was these very qualities of her people that made the Civil 


War a carnival of blood in Missouri. Every man stood upon 
his own convictions, and he stood immovable. He laid his life 
and all his possessions upon the altar of his devotion. Such a 
man may be ruined, despoiled, slain, but he will not be false 
to his sense of right and justice. 

The people of Missouri were for the Union by an overwhelm- 
ing majority every day of the Civil War, and they demon- 
strated that fact by enlisting in the Federal army. Including 
militia, nearly one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers were 
furnished the Union by Missouri. And, all told, the Confed- 
eracy did not get fifty thousand. The man with the farm of 
medium or small size, the merchant, the business man, and the 
dwellers in cities were generally for the Union. The man with 
a plantation and slaves was for the Confederacy. These were 
the main divisions, and they carried their different influences to 
the uttermost bounds of society. There were many exceptions 
in both divisions. 

The secessionists were influential in all the walks of life in 
Missouri. Back of them were pride of ancestry and achieve- 
ment and traditions which exerted vast influence on the life of 
the people. They were aggressive and bold. For the Confed- 
eracy they became intolerant and dictatorial. Their devotion 
to the traditions of the South was fanatical, and as slavery had 
been kept at the forefront of Southern institutions the secession- 
ists of Missouri made it their shibboleth, their political god, their 
rallying-cry from the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska bill to the 
close of the Rebellion. The contention of Major Edwards and 
other partisan writers that the actions of Union soldiers in Mis- 
souri, whether from Kansas or elsewhere, were responsible for 
the bloody nature of the war there is wholly and completely 
refuted by the record. 1 Quantrill and his men, and Bill Ander- 

i See all through the Rebellion Becords. No better evidence can be 
cited. See also the work of Colonel William Monks of West Plains, recent- 
ly published A History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas. 
See even the histories of Missouri counties written and published by them- 
selves. They are filled with outrages of Missourians upon Missourians in- 
spired by political conditions alone. There were undoubtedly many in- 
stances of brutal conduct on the part of Federal soldiers in Missouri, and 
some of the worst were by Kansas soldiers. But they were not frequent 


son, Todd, Gordon, Hildebrand, Porter, and many others per- 
petrated deeds in Missouri upon Missourians as brutal as any 
others did and as inhuman as could have been conceived by the 
savage Indians of the Plains in their wildest and bloodiest days. 
And their only justification for such a course was that their 
brother Missourians stood for the Union. Major Edwards him- 
self knew this to be true, and he all but admitted it: 

Chaos had now pretty well come again. In the wake of a 
civil war which permitted always the impossible to the strongest, 
beggars got upon horseback and began driving every decent 
thing before them to the devil. In the universal upheaval 
lean people saw how they might become fat, and paupers how 
they might become kings. To the surface of the cauldron 
because of the tremendous heat beneath it there came things 
mean, cowardly, parasitical, crouching, contemptible, bad. Beasts 
of prey became numerous, and birds of ill-omen flew hither and 
thither. The law it was the sword; the process it was the 
bayonet ; the constitution it was hung upon the gibbet ; the 
right the 

"Good old rule the simple plan, 
That they should take who have the power, 
And they should keep who can." 

Much has been said of the course of the Federal troops 
enlisted in Kansas and their actions in Missouri. Also, of the 
brigandage practiced there by irregular troops from Kansas, and 
even persons not in any way connected with the Federal mili- 
tary forces. The burning of Osceola by General James H. Lane 
was much complained of, and the destruction of private prop- 
erty in that town by him must be condemned. But the action 
of Lane was not of the vicious predatory nature practiced later 
by guerrillas in Kansas. Non-combatants were not killed. Pub- 
lic records were preserved. The Federal troops went there 
because ordered by the Federal government to do so, and this 
order was given for the reason that Osceola was the supply-base 
for General Sterling Price for operations in Missouri. To cap- 
ture the town and destroy the military stores belonging to the 
Confederate government there was legitimate procedure under 

or widespread, and for barbarity and savagery did not approach the ac- 
tions of the Missourians towards one another. 


the rules governing the awful condition of society called Civil 
War. 3 

As to the course of Colonel Jennison in Missouri very little 
in justification can be said. Jennison was a bad man, certainly. 
He committed outrages and crimes in Missouri. There is no 
doubt that the people of Missouri had just cause of complaint 
against him. And this fact makes it impossible that Missourians 
could be justified for doing in Kansas what Jennison did in 
Missouri. But the service of Jennison was cut short by the Fed- 
eral government. It must be remembered that he was appointed 
and commissioned by Governor Robinson of Kansas, and that 
after a campaign of about ninety days in Missouri he was 
ordered out by the Federal government and resigned. And it 
should not be forgotten that General Lane at that time usually 
decided what the Federal government did in military matters 
in Kansas. Jennison did not have the approval of the govern- 
ment in his course in Missouri, nor did Quantrill have the 
approval of the Confederate government for his course in Kan- 
sas. The course of Jennison was not approved by any great 

2 It was charged that General Price was much enraged by the 
destruction of his stores at Osceola, and that he counseled the sacking 
of Kansas towns and murder of innocent people in retaliation. Quantrill 
asserted this at Lawrence. The author has found little to support this 
charge. General Price was a humane man and an honorable soldier, and 
it is not probable that he advised any such course. In a letter written 
by C. M. Chase from Humboldt, Kansas, to his paper, the True Republican 
and Sentinel, Sycamore, Illinois, August 19, 1863, it is said that 

In 1861 the rebel Colonels Williams and Matthews visited the town 
with a small force, and sacked nearly every house and store. The next 
year immediately after Lane burned Osceola, General Price sent Colonel 
Talbot to retaliate on Humboldt, which he did effectually, leaving but 
one or two houses standing around the square. The citizens have had 
their share of the evils of rebellion. Col. Talbot not only sacked and 
burned, but killed some four or five of the citizens who attempted to de- 
fend their property. 

The author can not believe that this was done at the instance of a 
soldier with the delicate sense of honor known to have actuated General 
Price. And there were many Kansas towns much nearer the border and 
more easily reached than Humboldt, and these would probably have been 
chosen for destruction had General Price wished to assume the role of 


number of Kansas citizens, nor was that of Quantrill in Kansas 
approved by the people of Missouri. 

That the irregular forces guerrillas resulted from con- 
ditions existing in Missouri must be admitted. That the actions 
of Federal soldiers aggravated these conditions and became in 
some measure responsible for the guerrillas and their actions 
must also be admitted. But that this cause could be held to 
justify what the irregular forces did in Missouri can not be 
maintained. In crushing the rebellion against the government 
in Missouri the guerrillas would have been just what they were 
had all the Federal troops sent there been from New York or 
Ohio. In fact, most of these troops were native Missourians. 
Guerrilla warfare always originates spontaneously from such 
conditions as existed in Missouri in Kansas Territorial times and 
the Civil War. It would have existed in Missouri in those times 
if there had not lived a single soul in what is now Kansas. 

As showing the actions of the Missourians favoring the Con- 
federacy towards their neighbors and friends when the war 
began, the case of Colonel William Monks, of West Plains, Mo., 
may be cited. An instance from that part of Missouri is selected 
for the reason that it is adjoining the state of Arkansas and was 
wholly out of the range and influence of the Kansas Territorial 
troubles, and it is the desire that no injustice be done Missouri 
or a single citizen of that state. Colonel Monks was born in 
Alabama, on the Tennessee river. His father moved to Northern 
Arkansas in 1844 Fulton county. Monks grew up in that 
part of Arkansas and in Southern Missouri. At the commence- 
ment of the Civil War he lived at West Plains. He was intensely 
loyal to the Union and so remained throughout. General 
McBride Confederate was at that time judge of the Eigh- 
teenth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri, which included West 
Plains. He was mad on the subject of "Southern Rights." He 
took the lead against the Union men of Southern Missouri : 

As the organization of the Confederates proceeded they 
grew more bitter against the Union men and declared, by meet- 
ing and passing resolutions, that every Union man should show 
his colors in favor of the South or be hung as high as Haman.s 

3 A History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas, p. 46. This 
work will be referred to hereafter simply as the Work of Colonel Monks. 


One day a neighbor came to Colonel Monks and told him of 
an order issued by General McBride "requiring all Union men 
to come in and take the oath, and unless they do they are going 
to be hung as high as Haman." McBride soon issued another 
order, directing that all arms, ammunition, and horses be seized, 
and that the country be given over to the leading rebels who 
resided in it, and who immediately gave notice that all who 
refused to take the oath would be either arrested, imprisoned, 
or forced into the Confederate army to fight, and their leading 
men hung. Then they began to capture the Union men, who 
had to flee to the woods and hills : 

After they had completely disarmed them and forced 
many to join the Confederate service, had taken most of their 
horses, cattle and hogs for the use of the army, the leading rebels 
in the county claimed that they had organized for the purpose 
of ridding the country of all Union men who had refused to 
join the Confederate forces ; and that when McBride moved west 
he was going to leave the whole matter in their hands, and they 
intended to string up the Union men to limbs and shoot them, 
so they would soon be rid of that class of men who were friends 
of the lop-eared Dutch and were nigger lovers. 

Small bunches of rebel troops came in from Arkansas and 
joined the bands that were raiding the country, and the Union 
men were hunted like wild beasts. Then set in the darkest days 
that ever any class of patriots true to their government, had to 
confront. 4 

Prior to his march to join General Sterling Price, McBride 
issued another order, directing that "they arrest and seize every 
Union man possible" and saying that after he had marched, the 
committee which had been organized ' ' would at once exterminate 
every Union man who had failed to take the oath or join the 
Confederate army." Many Union men joined the Confederate 
army to save their lives and their families from destruction. 
But the great majority chose to take their chances and if need 
be suffer death rather than fight against their convictions for 
the Confederacy. Monks was one of these. On the 7th of July, 
1861, he was arrested under the order promulgated by McBride. 
As he was taken to McBride 's camp he was warned as follows: 

4 The Work of Colonel Monks, p. 51. 

Listen! Do you hear the drums and the fife? That is 
General McBride's command moving west to kill them lop-eared 
Dutch that you Union men have brought into the state of Mis- 
souri. Do you know what we are going to do with such men as 
you are ? Those of you that we don 't hang, the first fight that 
we get into with the lop-eared Dutch, we will make breastworks 
out of to keep the bullets off of good men.s 

As Colonel Monks was being taken past an Oregon county 
company its captain said, "Why have you brought a Union man 
in here alive? If my company had possession of him, he could 
not live ten minutes." When his guard reached their own com- 
pany with him the captain asked, "Why have you brought him 
in here alive?" Some of them said Monks was their neighbor 
and they hated to kill him. The captain replied : ' ' When I saw 
him at West Plains at the speaking when he got up and con- 
tended that there was a Union and the government ought to be 
preserved, I wanted to shoot his black heart out of him and I feel 
the same way yet." In discussing what disposition should be 
made of him many said "Hang him outright." Others thought 
that too harsh for a neighbor, but favored putting him in the 
Arkansas penitentiary until the war was over. This plan was 
objected to as "too easy for a man who was in favor of the lop- 
eared Dutch; that we are in favor of taking all like him right 
into the army and making them fight and if they won't fight 
the first engagement we get into, pile them up and make breast- 
works out of them, so that they will catch the bullets off of good 

Later, Monks was traded off for a beef-cow, and the gang 
that got him told him to run, expecting to shoot him for trying to 
escape. He refused to run. Then a man came with a rope and 
said, "Monks, you have half a minute to say you will join the 
army and fight, or go to hell, just which you please." Monks 
appealed to the captain for protection, and the captain replied: 
"I have been shooting and wounding some of these black Re- 
publicans who are friends of the lop-eared Dutch, but I intend 
to shoot the balance of them dead." The appeal to the captain 
secured Monks a short reprieve. At Yellville he was put with 
some other prisoners. "As usual, the abuse that had been con- 

s The Work of Colonel Monks, p. 58. 


tinually heaped upon the prisoners during the march was re- 
newed and in a short time a man who was said to be from one 
of the counties north of Rolla, Mo., commenced making a speech 
and inciting and encouraging the soldiers to mob the prisoners 
at once ; that he had disguised himself and entered the camps of 
the lop-eared Dutch at Rolla, and that to his own personal 
knowledge they had men's wives and daughters inside their 
camps, committing all manner of offenses possible, and that they 
were heathens; didn't resemble American people at all and that 
he would not guard nor feed any man who was a friend of them ; 
that they ought to be killed outright. ' ' 6 

Colonel Monks escaped from McBride at Eureka Springs, 
and thus escaped death. He describes the pitiable condition of 
the Union men in Southern Missouri after the battle of Wilson 
Creek : 

The rebels being encouraged by the late victory, determined 
to rid the country of all Union men at once. About that time 
about 350 men, mostly from Oregon county, commanded by two 
very prominent men, made a scout into Ozark county, Mo. On 
reaching the North Fork of White River they went into camp 
at what was known as Jesse James' mill. The owner, a man of 
about 55 or 60 years of age, as good a man as resided in Ozark 
county, was charged with grinding corn for Union men and their 
families; at the time he and a man by the name of Brown were 
cutting saw logs about two miles from home in the pinery. 
They went out and arrested them, arrested an old man by the 
name of Russell and several others, carried them to a man's 
house, who was a Union man, and had fled to prevent arrest. 
They took Brown and James about 300 yards from the house, 
procured a rope, hunted a long limb of a tree, rolled a big rock 
up to the tree where the first rope was tied to the limb, placed 
the noose about James' neck, stood him on the rock, rolled the 
rock out from under him and left him swinging, rolled the rock 
to the next rope, stood Brown on it, placed the noose around 
his neck, rolled the rock out and left Brown swinging in the air, 
went to the third rope, placed Russell on the rock, and just as 
they aimed to adjust the noose, word came that the home guards 

6 Eead also Parson Brownlow's Boole. It describes many murders 
and outrages committed on Union men in Eastern Tennessee, the sole cause 
of these outrages having been inflicted upon the Union men and their 
families because they clung to the Union. 


and Federals were right upon them in considerable force. They 
fled, leaving Russell standing upon the rock and both Brown and 
James dangling in the air. 

Every Union man now having fled in fear of his life, the 
next day the wives of Brown and James, with the help of a few 
other women, buried them as best they could. They dug graves 
underneath the swinging bodies, laid bed clothing in the graves 
and cut them loose. The bodies fell into the coffinless graves 
and the earth was replaced. So the author is satisfied that the 
bones of these men still remain in the lonely earth underneath 
where they met their untimely death with no charge against 
them except that they had been feeding Union men, with no one 
to bury them but their wives and a few other women who aided. 

Some of the men who were in the scout and present when 
the hanging was done are still living in the counties of Howell 
and Oregon. 

A short time after this hanging there was a man by the 
name of Rhodes, who resided at the head of Bennett's Bayou 
in Howell County. He was about eighty years of age and had 
been a soldier under General Jackson. His head was perfectly 
white and he was very feeble. "When he heard of the hanging 
of Brown and James he said openly that there was no civil war 
in that, and that the men who did it were guilty of murder. 

Some two weeks from the date of the hanging of Brown 
and James, about twenty-five men, hearing of what he had said, 
organized themselves and commanded by Dr. Nunly and William 
Sapp, proceeded to the house of Rhodes, where he and his aged 
wife resided alone, calling him out and told him they wanted him 
to go with them. His aged wife came out, and being acquainted 
with a part of the men, and knowing that they had participated 
in the hanging and shooting of a number of Union men, talked 
with them and asked: "You are not going to hurt my old man?" 
They said : ' ' We just want him to go a piece with us over here. ' ' 
Ordering the old man to come along, they went over to a point 
about a quarter of a mile from the house and informed him of 
what he had said. There they shot him, cut his ears off and his 
heart out. Dr. Nunly remarked that he was going to take the 
heart home with him, pickle it and keep it so people could see 
how a black Republican's heart looked. 

In the meantime, Rhodes not having returned home, and not 
a single Union man left in the country that Mrs. Rhodes could 
get to look after him, and having heard when they reached 
Joseph Spears' that the old man was not with them, although 
very feeble, she still continued the search; on the second day, 
about fifty yards from the road and about a quarter of a mile 
from home, she heard hogs squealing and grunting as though 


they were eating something. She proceeded to the place and 
found the hogs were just about to commence eating the remains 
of her husband. The Union men having fled, she notified some of 
the neighbors, and the women came in and helped dress the 
body and buried him the best they could. 

There never was a man arrested by the Confederate author- 
ities, or a single word of condemnation uttered, but as far as 
could be heard there was general approval. It was said that 
the means were desperate', but that was the only way to get rid 
of the men and strike terror to them so they could neither give 
aid nor countenance to the lop-eared Dutch. 

In a few days following they proceeded to arrest Benjamin 
Alsup, residing in Hutton Valley, who was a strong Union man, 
took him to Little Rock, placed him in the state penitentiary, 
and kept him there until after Little Rock fell into the hands 
of the Federals, when they exchanged him with other prisoners. 
While they had him in prison they worked him in a bark mill 
by the side of an old mule, with a strap around his breast and 
two leather hand holes. He pulled so much in the mill that his 
little finger was calloused and he almost entirely lost the use 
of it. 

After they had hung, shot, and captured and driven from the 
country all of the Union men, they called a public meeting for 
the purpose of taking into consideration what should be done 
with the families of the Union men, which meeting had a number 
of preachers in it. After discussing the premises, they arrived 
at the conclusion that if they let the families of the Union men, 
who had escaped and gone into the Federal lines, remain, they 
would return and bring in the lop-eared Dutch. They didn't 
believe that both parties could ever live together, and as they 
now had the country completely rid of the Union men, they 
would force their families to leave. They at once appointed men, 
among whom were several preachers, to go to each one of the 
Union families and notify them that they would not be allowed 
to remain; because if they let them stay, their men would be 
trying to come back, and they didn't believe both parties could 
live together. They stated at the same time that they were 
really sorry for the women and children, but nobody was to 
blame but their husbands and sons, who had cast their lot with 
the lop-eared Dutch. Also, as they had taken up arms against 
the Confederate States, all the property they had, both real and 
personal, was subject to confiscation and belonged to the Con- 
federate authorities; but they would allow them to take enough 
of their property to carry them inside of the lines of the lop- 
eared Dutch, where they supposed their men were and where 
they could care for them. 


They said they might have a reasonable time to make prep- 
arations to leave the coutnry, and if they didn't leave, they 
would be forced to do so, if they had to arrest them and carry 
them out. 

The wildest excitement then prevailed among the women 
and children. They had no men to transact their business and 
make preparations to leave. Little had they thought, while they 
were chasing, arresting, hanging and shooting their men, that 
they, too, would become victims of the rebel hatred and be forced 
to leave house and home, not knowing where their men were or 
whether they were dead or alive. All they knew of their where- 
abouts was, that those who escaped arrest had left their homes, 
aiming to reach the nearest Federal lines. 

Women were at once dispatched to reach the nearest Fed- 
eral lines, if possible, and inform them of the Confederate order, 
and procure help to take them out. Their homes and houses 
were being continually raided by small bands of Confederates 
roaming over the country, claiming that they were hunting 
Union men, taking all classes of property that they might see 
proper to take, without any restraint whatever. 

The suffering that followed the women and children is in- 
describable. They had to drive their own teams, take care of 
the little ones, travel through the storms, exposed to it all with- 
out a man to help them, nor could they hear a single word of 
comfort spoken by husband, son or friend. On reaching the 
Federal lines, all vacant houses and places of shelter were soon 
filled, and they were known and styled as refugees. Many of 
them went into soldier huts, where the soldiers had wintered 
and covered the tops of their huts with earth. They had to 
leave home with a small amount of rations, and on the road the 
rebels would stop them and make them divide up the little they 
had started with, and reaching the Federal lines they would be 
almost destitute of food and many of them very scantily clothed. 

They would at once commence inquiring for their husbands 
and sons. Numbers of them never found them, as they had been 
captured, killed and imprisoned while attempting to reach the 
Federal lines. ! The untold misery that then confronted them ! 
After they had traveled and half starved and suffered from cold 
and exposure, promising themselves that when they reached the 
Federal lines they would again meet their loved ones who could 
again care for them, they were doomed to disappointment, in a 
large number of instances. 

Those who did meet their husbands and sons were also dis- 
appointed; they had either joined the service or been employed 
by the government as guides and scouts, and the small amount 
of pay they received from the government, wouldn't provide 


food and raiment for their families. They were compelled to 
still be absent from their families, although they were suffering 
greatly for all of the necessaries of life and for clothing and 
shelter. The women's task of caring for and looking after the 
family and the little ones was just as great after they had 

reached the Federal lines as before Winter came on 

and they underwent untold sufferings; disease set in from ex- 
posure, besides the contagious diseases of small pox and measles, 
and hundreds of them died for want of proper attention, while 
their men were in the lines of the service of the government. 7 

7 Colonel Monks relates one incident in which it appears that a squad 
of the "lop-eared" Dutch took a moderate revenge upon one of these fire- 
eaters of Southern Missouri, and as it is perhaps the only instance of the 
kind which can be found, it is set out here. 

The author remembers one incident that occurred during the stay 
at West Plains. A man named Lusk, who was constable of Howell town- 
ship, and resided in West Plains, was a strong Union man at the beginning 
of the war; when the general order was made that every man who had 
been a Union man had to join the Confederate service and show his colors 
or be hung, Lusk enlisted in the Confederate army and went out with 
McBride's command. 

Three or four days after the capture of the author by the rebels, 
Lusk came up to him in a braggadocio manner and says, "You ought to 
have your black heart shot out of you." Lusk had taken the oath and 
had been released before the author reached West Plains. The author 
met him in West Plains and remarked to him: "Hallo, Lusk! How are 
you getting along? And what are you doing here?" He replied that he 
had taken the oath; that he was tired of fighting. The author asked him 
if he felt like he did when he wanted to shoot his black heart out. Lusk 
replied: "Captain, I am sorry for what I did, and Captain Emmons so 
maltreated me the other day that I could scarcely sit in my saddle." The 
author remarked to him : "I will just give your face three good slaps with 
my hand." After giving him three raps, the author let him pass. 

Soon meeting Captain Emmons, who belonged to the 6th Missouri 
Cavalry, had asked him what the trouble was between him and Lusk. He 
said that while he was prisoner Lusk came to him with his big knife belted 
around him, and said that he was just equal to ten lop-eared Dutch and 
he had that knife for the purpose of taking ten Dutch scalps before he 
returned home, and otherwise abused him for being a Union man and a 
friend of the Dutch. 

On the arrival of the troops in West Plains he inquired of the citizens 
if Lusk had returned home. They informed him that he had and was 
residing on Spring Creek, about six miles from town. About half of 
Emmona' company were Germans. He went immediately to his company, 
ordered the Orderly Sergeant to make detail of ten men and he wanted 
them all to be Germans. He ordered them to be mounted and ready for a 
scout at once. Taking charge of them in person he proceeded to the house 
of Lusk, about six miles west of West Plains at the head of Spring Creek, 
rode up to the house and halloed. Lusk immediately came out into the 
yard and recognized Dr. Emmons and said "O! Doctor! Is that you? I 
am proud to see you." The Doctor said to him, "I am proud to see you, 
too." The Doctor at once informed him of what he had said to him 


In further proof that it is preposterous to charge all the rob- 
bery and outrage committed in Missouri on those not in sympathy 
with the Southern Confederacy, I quote from the letter of 
Thomas C. Reynolds, Confederate Governor of Missouri, printed 
under his signature in the Marshall (Texas) Republican, and 
published at pp. 467-474, Shelby and His Men, by Major John 
N. Edwards. The robberies and outrages were committed, Gov- 

when he was a prisoner in regard to being equal to ten lop-eared Dutch- 
men and how he had his knife prepared to take that number of scalps 
before he came back home, and wanted to know if he got the scalps before 
he came back home. Lusk replied that if he killed a single Dutchman he 
didn't know it and that he got all the fighting that he wanted, didn't want 
to fight any more. 

The Doctor wanted to know if he ever saw any lop-eared Dutch and 
Lusk replied that he "didn't know that he had." The Doctor replied, 
"I have selected ten of the smallest sized of the full stock and I want you 
to step over the fence and view them." He then ordered the scouts to 
dismount and form in line. Lusk told the Doctor he didn't want any- 
thing to do with them whatever. After they had formed a line the 
Doctor made him step in front and view them; asked him what he thought 
of them. He said "They are good-looking men." The Doctor said to 
him, "If you didn't get the chance when you were out in the service to 
fight ten of them, and you say you didn't get any scalps, I have brought 
these ten down and intend that you shall fight them." Lusk pleaded with 
the Doctor that he didn't want to fight them and for God's sake not to 
let them hurt him. Emmons said to him "Why Lusk! you said you were 
equal to ten of them and intended to bring back ten of their scalps and 
there will be nothing unfair about this fight. I intend to give you a fair 
show." He ordered Lusk to get his horse and get onto it and get ready 
to march. 

There were some four-foot clapboards stacked up near Lusk's house, 
and Emmons ordered six of the Germans to get a board apiece. They 
were all soon mounted and moving towards West Plains, soon coming to a 
"horsen" log. Emmons ordered them to dismount and form a line, plac- 
ing the men about ten paces from Lusk, then said to Lusk, "Now, prepare 
yourself, and if you can whip these ten lop-eared Dutch I will let you 
go back home and give you a chromo. " Lusk pleaded pitifully to not let 
the Dutch abuse him. Emmons ordered the six who had the clapboards to 
move one pace in the rear, leaving four of the number to attack Lusk; 
he then ordered the four men to seize Lusk, take him to the "horsen" 
log and take down his clothes. Two of them were to take him by the 
hands and two by the legs and buck him tight against the log; if they 
succeeded, the six would proceed, one at a time, and strike him three licks 
across that part of the body that he generally used for sitting on. 

He then turned to Lusk, saying, "Prepare to meet them; if you are 
a better man than they are, down them and pile them up." At the com- 
mand of Capt. Emmons, the four men advanced on Lusk, who did not at- 
tempt to move, seized him by the arms, led him to the log, bucked him 
over it, two holding him by the arms and two by the legs, ordered the six 
men to advance, one at a time, strike three licks with the flat side of the 
board, march on a few paces and give room for the next. 

After the performance had been completely carried out as commanded, 


ernor Reynolds charges, by the soldiers under General Price, in 
his invasion of Missouri in 1864. Major Edwards admits the 
truth of these charges in publishing them, and he expressly ad- 
mits them, in addition: 

It would take a volume to describe the acts of outrage; 
neither station, age nor sex was any protection; Southern men 
and women were as little spared as Unionists; the elegant man- 
sion of General Robert E. Lee's accomplished niece and the cabin 
of the negro were alike ransacked ; John Deane, the first civilian 
ever made a State prisoner by Mr. Lincoln's Government, had 
his watch and money robbed from his person, in the open street 
of Potosi, in broad day, as unceremoniously as the German mer- 
chant at Fredrickstown was forced, a pistol at his ear, to sur- 
render his concealed greenbacks. As the citizens of Arkansas 
and Northern Texas have seen in the goods unblushingly of- 
fered them for sale, the clothes of the poor man 's infant were as 
attractive spoil as the merchant's silk and calico or the curtain 
taken from the rich man's parlor; ribbons and trumpery gee- 
gaws were stolen from milliners, and jeweled rings forced from 
the fingers of delicate maidens whose brothers were fighting in 
Georgia in Cockrell's Confederate Missouri Brigade. 

the Captain declared that he could have heard Lusk halloing a mile dis- 
tant every time the clapboard hit him. 

After he had received the boarding, Emmons said that Lnsk was 
blistered where the boards hit him, and that he never saw ten Germans 
enjoy themselves as much in his life. He then asked Lusk, in their 
presence, how he felt now in regard to fighting lop-eared Dutch. Lusk 
declared that he had nothing against the Dutch and that he never would 
want to fight another one as long as he lived, and he hoped that Dr. 
Emmons would not let them do him any more harm. He dressed himself, 
they were all mounted, formed a line, and Lusk was brought into West 
Plains and took the oath, under the promise that he would never fight 
another lop-eared Dutchman. 

So, the excuses made for Quantrill and others who led guerrillas 
and bands of outlaws and murderers fall to the ground upon investigation. 
The actions of these bands were not inspired by the treatment Missouri 
received from Union soldiers. There was no reason whatever why the 
Confederacy should permit the existence of such bands. The story told by 
Colonel Monks is the story of all Missouri, the story of Eastern Kentucky, 
Eastern Tennessee, and all the border. It may be safely said that a great 
majority of the outrages committed in the South by Union men resulted 
from the brutal treatment they, their wives, and children had been com- 
pelled to suffer at the hands of brigands and the inhuman banditti with 
which they were surrounded, and this bad element was but a small portion 
of the population. 



UP TO the beginning of the year 1862 the guerrillas acted 
as a mob. They had no organization and were but 
bunches of men skulking through the brush and over 
the rough hills in defiance of authority either civil or military. 
They were taking revenge personally for such wrongs as they 
pretended to believe themselves or the country subjected to. A 
man might appear or not to go on any guerrilla service. There 
was no responsibility, no one to exercise any power, no one to 
enforce such rude discipline and primitive conventionalities as 
even guerrillas must recognize. Such authority as they might 
voluntarily bow to was lying in the bush or in the highway un- 
used. Quantrill seized it, having first recognized it by reason 
of his long career as a Jayhawker and border-ruffian, his experi- 
ences in Kansas giving him great advantage over his new-found 
associates in Missouri. In some loose way he in a manner suc- 
ceeded Upton Hays, who had acted upon some sort of roving 
commission as chief of "Partisan Hangers" between the Osage 
and Missouri rivers in Western Missouri. The succession was 
accomplished by the departure of Hays and the voluntary occu- 
pation of the field by Quantrill. No "orders" have been found 
that in any way relate to the matter; perhaps there were none. 
The material for the guerrilla or bushwhacker force was be- 
ing created day by day by the organization of the armies of the 
Union and of the Confederacy. Some were forced to an inde- 
pendent course by circumstances they could not control. To 
secure protection some who favored the Confederacy joined the 
Union army. Sometimes these found life and service in the 
Union army impossible to them, and their hatred of the Union 
was so intensified that they deserted. They were afraid to enlist 
in the Confederate army, for if captured and recognized they 


would be shot for deserters and traitors. They invariably became 
guerrillas. A goodly number of the men who followed Quantrill 
and Anderson were such deserters. Many citizens of Missouri 
could not make up their mind to join the Confederate army, 
though favoring the cause. These remained at home in sullen 
rebellion against the Union, and were sympathizers with the 
Confederacy. They harbored and encouraged the guerrillas, and 
became spies for them and furnished intelligence of what was 
transpiring at Federal posts which they visited. Many of this 
class loudly proclaimed that they were Union men better to hide 
their real position and secure protection. The outrages com- 
mitted by occasional bands of lawless Union troops so enraged 
those suffering therefrom that they joined the guerrillas in hope 
of being able to wreak vengeance upon any and all Union par- 
tisans and sympathizers to do to their neighbors of a different 
political belief those very things they complained had been done 
to themselves. The irresponsible nature of the service of the 
guerrillas attracted the worst elements of society and afforded 
them opportunities for robbery and a freedom from restraint in 
the indulgence of their worst passions. All this nondescript 
material existed, awaiting only the hand of some master of 
villainy to give it shape and fashion it into form and thus create 
a force vicious, brutal, without responsibility to any power, bent 
on revenge to despoil, ravage, pillage, lay waste, and rejoice 
in the destruction of human life. 

By Christmas, 1861, Quantrill had gathered about him some 
seven men. They were William Hallar, George Todd, Joseph 
Gilchrist, Perry Hoy, John Little, James Little, and Joe 
Vaughan. About Christmas day William H. Gregg, James A. 
Hendricks, and John W. Koger joined Quantrill. They rode 
together in search of him, finding him and his seven men at the 
farm of Mrs. Samuel Crump, on the public road leading from 
Independence to Blue Springs. The band was not in camp 
there, but the men were found sitting on their horses in the 
road in front of the farm-house. This may be said to have been 
the beginning of Quantrill's band as an entity as a separate 
and distinct organization with a recognized leader. 

At the Crump farm Quantrill disbanded his company for a 


month. Each man was to use the time in preparation for active 
work as soon as the weather would permit. No opportunity to 
secure other men was to be overlooked. At this time Jennison 
was stationed at Blue Springs. 1 

The first skirmish mentioned by Gregg was on the 27th of 
January, 1862, and was between seventeen of Jennison 's men 
and three of Quantrill 's men, at the house of Noah McAlexander, 
in Sni-a-Bar township, Jackson county. Gregg, Hallar, and one 
other were the Quantrill men. Crocket Ralston, John Frisby, 
and John Barnhill, three unarmed citizens, were also in the 
house. The armed men determined to fight, and the citizens 
were to go out first and remain between the Union men and the 
Quantrill men. Ralston and Frisby struck out for themselves 
as soon as they cleared the door, and both were captured and 
shot. Barnhill followed Gregg's party. One of the Quantrill 
men was shot, but Gregg, Hallar, and Barnhill escaped. None 
of Jennison 's men were injured, so far as is known. 

The first mention of Quantrill in the official records falls on 
February 3, 1862. 2 This mention is brief and it is as follows : 

General : I have just returned from an expedition which I 

1 Manuscript of William H. Gregg, now in the Collection of the author. 
This manuscript was written by Gregg, who was an officer under Quantrill 
until the winter of 1863-64. Gregg was quite young when he joined Quan- 
trill. He was driven out of the band by the cut-throats at or near Sher- 
man, Texas, early in 1864, when he joined Shelby and was made a captain 
in Shanks 's Brigade. Or, rather, the band became so reckless of life that 
the men began to kill one another, and Gregg left in disgust. The 
manuscript will be referred to hereafter as the Gregg Manuscript. It is 
faithfully written and very accurate to have been written from memory 
alone. Some incidents are set down out of their order, but the accounts 
are modest and truthful, and they are entirely devoid of that spirit of 
boast and brag found so prominent in the works of Edwards. Captain 
Gregg has been (1908) deputy sheriff of Jackson county, Missouri, for 
many years under Eepublican officials, and he is a good officer and a 
worthy citizen. When the war was over it was over forever with Captain 
Gregg, and he immediately returned to his farm and took up the pursuits 
of peace, which he ever after cherished and followed. 

2 Rebellion Eecords, Series I, Vol. VIII, p. 57. Keport of Captain Wil- 
liam S. Oliver, Seventh Missouri Infantry, to Brig.-Gen. Pope, dated In- 
dependence, Mo., February 3, 1862. 


was compelled to undertake in search of the notorious Quantrill 
and his gang of robbers in the vicinity of Blue Springs. With- 
out mounted men at my disposal, despite numerous applications 
to various points, I have seen this infamous scoundrel rob mails, 
steal the coaches and horses, and commit other similar outrages 
upon society even within sight of this city. Mounted on the 
best horses of the country, he has defied pursuit, making his 

camp in the bottoms of the and Blue, and roving over 

a circuit of 30 miles. I mounted a company of my command and 
went to Blue Springs. The first night there myself, with 5 men, 
were ambushed by him and fired upon. We killed 2 of his men 
(of which he had 18 or 20) and wounded a third. The next day 
we killed four more of the worst of the gang, and before we left 

succeeded in dispersing them 

Quantrill will not leave this section unless he is chastised 
and driven from it. I hear of him tonight 15 miles from here, 
with new recruits, committing outrages on Union men, a large 
body of whom have come in tonight, driven out by him. Fam- 
ilies of Union men are coming into the city tonight asking of me 
escorts to bring in their goods and chattels, which I duly 
furnished. I had 1 man killed and 2 wounded, during the ex- 

February 22, 1862, Quantrill, with some fifteen men, rode 
to Independence, supposing no Union troops were there. Double- 
day 's Ohio Cavalry had just passed through the town, and when 
Quantrill arrived the stragglers galloped out and informed the 
regiment, which immediately returned, entering the public 
square at the southwest corner. Quantrill and his men were at 
the northeast corner and saw the Ohioans come in on the dead 
run in platoons. The day was dark and foggy, and it was im- 
possible to distinguish uniforms at a distance of fifty yards. 
The Union men were armed with holster pistols and sabres 
Quantrill 's with navy revolvers, shot-guns and Sharps 's rifles. 
Quantrill 's forces fired at point blank range and retreated on the 
Spring Branch road, closely pursued by the Ohioans, who shot 
out their pistols and drew their sabres. Near the public spring 
Gabriel George and Hop Wood, guerrillas, were killed. A Union 
soldier rode beside Gregg, in the fog mistaking him for a com- 
rade. Gregg snapped his pistol three times within a few inches 
of the Ohioan's ear, but the weapon missed fire. The trooper 
seeing his mistake, drew his sabre and slashed at Gregg, who 


received several strokes on his arms. Quantrill and his men 
ran away from their pursuers and were soon lost in the mists, 
with several wounded. The Ohioans lost none. In this skir- 
mish Quantrill was wounded, and his horse killed, about half a 
mile from Independence. He climbed up a steep bank or bluff, 
between the rocks, and was not pursued. He attended the 
funeral of George, a day or two later, walking with a cane. 

The sacking of Aubry, in Johnson county, Kansas, was on 
the 7th of March, 1862.3 Andreas' s History of Kansas, usu- 

3 In the Gregg Manuscript this event is placed after the affair at 
the Tate house. Gregg has the exact date of the attack upon Quantrill 
at the Tate house. But official reports are correct as to dates and all 
other authorities must give way to them. Gregg informed the author that 
he saved Lieutenant Eandlett from death at Aubry that he might be ex- 
changed for Perry Hoy, who had been captured at the Tate house. The 
official report was made from Fort Leavenworth, March 19, and says intel- 
ligence of the affair had been received on the 10th, which would allow 
sufficient time after the 7th for it to reach Fort Leavenworth. 

Eandlett must have been spared for some other than the assigned 
cause, or Hoy was captured before the affair at the Tate house. On the 
25th of February, 1908, the author discussed this matter with Mr. Eandlett 
at his home, 706 Jefferson street, Topeka. He believes the man he was 
saved to be exchanged for had been captured at Independence by Double- 
day 's Second Ohio, on the 22nd of February, and that this man 's name was 

In a letter to the author, dated Kansas City, Mo., February 27, 1908, 
Captain Gregg says: 

No, we never had a man named Brady. One or two of Parker's men 
were captured by the Ohioans at the time of which you speak, but none of 
ours, and Parker had no man by that name. I have never heard of any one 
denying that Hoy was captured at the Tate House. The fact is, I know 
that Hoy was captured there, and, notwithstanding dates to the contrary, 
I know that Eandlett was captured after the Tate House affair. And all 
the circumstances go to prove that I am correct. I have perused war 
records to considerable extent myself, and have found many dates, as well 
as narratives, wrong. 

Captain Gregg is relying upon his memory alone, and he is in error 
as to this date and the order in which these events occurred. He must 
do like all good soldiers when surrounded and no chance of escape is seen 
surrender. And he must also give up the idea that it was Hoy for whom 
Lieutenant Eandlett was saved for exchange, for it was a man named 

In his interview with Eandlett, as set out above, the author urged 


ally so complete and accurate, gives no date. It mentions the 
matter indefinitely, saying that ''Five newly arrived citizens, 
who went out one evening to gather honey, promising their wives 
to return early, were murdered by Quantrill's men, and the 
place of their burial is not known. Greenbury Trekle, a Mr. 

Whitaker, Washington Tullis, Ellis and John Cody, all 

were killed by border-ruffians." There is nothing here to con- 
nect the men named with the affair of the men who were slain 
while in search for honey, nor is it said that they were killed 
at the sacking of the town. 

Reuben A. Randlett was second lieutenant of Company A, 
Fifth Kansas. He was sent home on sick-leave in the winter of 
1861-62. While yet suffering from the ague he started to re- 
turn to his command, which was then at Barnesville, Kansas. 
The weather was still cold. He left Kansas City, Mo., the morn- 
ing of the 6th of March. Night coming upon him at Aubry, he 
stopped at the village tavern. There he was given a room with 
a man named Ellis, a stranger to him. At daylight the following 
morning the landlord knocked loudly at the door of their room, 
advising that they get up at once, as the guerrillas were coming 
into town. Randlett remarked that such means to get them up 
early was outrageous. But the landlord soon returned to in- 
form them that the guerrillas were surrounding the house. The 

him to make diligent search for an old diary he said he had kept at that 
time. He believed he had the diary, but had failed to find it after more 
than one long search. After a part of this chapter was written Bandlett 
found the diary and with it a letter written to him by Colonel McNeil, 
commandant of the post at Kansas City, and he has exhibited both the 
diary and the letter to the author. They are old and musty, but in a 
good state of preservation. The diary fixes the date beyond dispute as the 
7th day of March, 1862. And this agrees with the date as given by 
Abraham Ellis, which will appear in his letters published, post. 
Entries in the diary are as follows: 

Thursday, March 6th, 62. 

Left Kansas City. Took dinner at Shawneetown. Had a shake and 
stopped at Aubrey. 

Friday, 7th. 

Taken prisoner by Capt. Quantrell. 

The diary shows that it was a man named Brady for whom Randlett 
was saved for exchange. 


night had been cold, and the window panes were covered with 
frost, except on narrow margins next to 
the sash, which the warmth of the wood 
had kept clear. Randlett dressed himself 
and looked out of the window, but could 
see no one; then he went into another 
room, from the window of which he saw 
a number of guerrillas, and he heard 
shots and shouts in the streets. A man, 
partly dressed, wanted to fight the guer- 
rillas, but when Randlett found that all 
the house had but three pistols in the way 
of arms with which to fight forty men he 
advised against it. He said to the others 

Lieut. Reuben A. Randlett 

that he would go down and surrender. 

He went into the tavern office and handed his revolver to a guer- 
rilla he found there, saying that he was a Union soldier and 
demanded the treatment due a soldier who surrendered. He 
was led out on the porch and turned over to two guerrillas found 
there. They swore horribly, one thrusting the muzzle of his 
pistol into Randlett 's mouth (this was Joe Young, after the 
war a printer at Kansas City) and the other holding a revolver 
at his ear. Then a man came by, believed by Randlett to have 
been Quantrill, but Captain Gregg says it was himself, and 
ordered Young and his companion not to injure Randlett as he 
wanted him for a certain purpose. He was taken into the office 
and questioned by Quantrill, who asked him if he had a horse. 
Randlett replied that he had a good mare in the tavern stables. 
Quantrill at once ordered it saddled and brought out. Just 
then Ellis came into the office with his face all covered with 
blood. Quantrill recognized him at once and said, "Why, Ellis, 
is that you?" Ellis replied that it was himself and that Quan- 
trill had shot him. It seems that Ellis had been looking out of 
the window, with his face near the sash where there was no 
frost. Quantrill saw him and fired, the ball going through the 
top of one sash and the bottom of the other where they joined 
in the middle of the window before it struck Ellis in the fore- 
head; the sash saved his life. Randlett did not know then that 


the bullet had gone through the sash before striking Ellis, and 
supposed it had gone into his head instead of flattening against 
his skull, and expected to see him fall down dead. Ellis had 
known Quantrill in Lykins (Miami) county, having been super- 
intendent of schools there, where he examined the guerrilla for 
a certificate to teach. Quantrill talked with Ellis for some 
time, and told him to hitch up his team and go on his way and 
he should not be molested. Randlett wiped the blood from 
Ellis 's face. Ellis was fastening the lines to the bits as Quan- 
trill and Randlett rode away, and Randlett saw him fall back- 
ward and supposed he had fallen dead from his wound. 4 The 

4 In the Collection of the author are two letters from Ellis to W. W. 
Scott. Ellis ran a newspaper at Elk City, Montgomery county, Kansas, 
after the war. In the Kansas legislature of 1863 he was engrossing clerk 
in the House, and not a member as his letter would lead one to believe. 
He had a large depression in his forehead, caused by the wound inflicted 
by Quantrill, and was known as "Bullet-Hole" Ellis; this name always 
stuck to him. His letters contain some errors, also much of value, and 
they are here reproduced in part: 

Elk City Montgomery Co Kan Jan 5th 1879 
ME. W. W. Scott Dear Sir 

My first acquaintance with William C. Quantrell was in the winter of 
1858 & 1859 [Error; it was in the winter of 1859-60; see QuantriU's 
letters, ante.] he was then teaching school near Stanton in Miami County 
& I was Superintendent I visited his school, & put up, at his board- 
ing house I found him an interesting well educated man we slept to- 
gether & talked until after 2 P. M. The next thing I heard of him he 
had turned Abolitionist & was acting as a conductor on the under ground 
Railroad & assisting Negroes from Missouri to Canada But he was not 
prompted by conscience, or pure unadulterated religion as he was never 
known to assist any Negro unless the Negro first assisted him to steal a 
horse or mule The stock was Quantrells & the Negro passed North through 
Iowa to Canada. . . . And my next interview with Quantrell was on the 
7th of March, 1862 I stopped for the night at Aubrey in Johnson county, 
Kan Not anticipating any trouble But at daylight I was awoke by the 
cry The cut throats are coming But before I could dress the house was 
surrounded & they were yelling & screaming & swearing like Devils and 
five men who were in the lower rooms started to run across the fields But 
were soon overtaken and butchered there were five of us up stairs (all 
travelers) & about thirty of them were riddling the house with bullets 
while these men were being butchered in the field & I was carelessly look- 
ing out at the window up stairs & Quantrell saw me through the window & 
gave me a dip he made a good shot (or as he afterwards expressed it, 
a dam'd good shot) I was struck in the center of the forehead where the 
brains of most men are supposed to be located I fell & was supposed to 
be dead the others then went down stairs & surrendered & in a few mo- 
ments Quantrell & two others of the gads hill Band Came up stairs each 
had a revolver in his hand with the hammer raised They were trembling 


proprietor of the tavern and two hired hands found working 
for him were chased into a field in which dry cornstalks were 
standing and there killed by Quantrill and his men. 

Randlett was with Quantrill from the 7th to the 18th of 
March. He was released before the affair at the Tate house. 
Whether it was for Perry Hoy or some other member of his band 
that Quantrill desired to exchange him, there is no doubt of the 
fact that he was saved alive to be exchanged. Quantrill wrote 
several letters to the commandant at Port Leavenworth request- 
ing an exchange of his man for Randlett, but he received no 
reply, as he and his men were considered to be outlaws and not 
soldiers, making communication with them impossible from a 
military standpoint. Quantrill had Randlett write requesting 
that the exchange be made, which he did, but he received no 
answer to his letter. 

While Randlett was with Quantrill a man came to the camp 

like criminals & Swearing like Devils & to give an idea of their interest- 
ing language I will give a few detached sentences I was lieing on 
a mattress at the head of the stairs & they had been told by the prison- 
ers that there was only one man up stairs & he was probably dead So 
Quantrell and two others started up stairs & as soon as they got within 
about four feet of me they all pointed their revolvers at my head, with 
their fingers on the trigger at last one of them balled out If you have 
any money God damn you give it to me in a minute or I'll blow you to 
Hell and as I had no hankering after [that] place I passed over the 
checks (or in other words) I handed him $250.00 they then passed on & 
searched the rooms & I heard one of them say, that he had found a pocket 
book & that it was a dam-d fat one They then ordered me down stairs & 
said that I was not dead by a dam-d sight I then crawled down stairs & 
was helped into a chair & in a few minutes Quantrell came down stairs 
& then recognized me & got a cloth and some water & washed my face & 
said he did it himself & was dam-d sorry for it as I was one of the 
Kansas men he did not want to hurt I then told him of iny team & about 
fifty dollars worth of groceries that were there in the house he said that 
he was glad that I had told him, as he was sorry for what he had already 
done & said that not one thing more of mine should be touched & if I had 
then thought of my money it is possible that that he might have given it 
back to me But I was too far gone to think of money & soon after I 
fainted away & lay on the frozen ground about four hours senseless & 
motionless & to all appearances dead & all who saw me pronounced me dead. 
I was really supposed to [be] dead by all who saw me & if any of my 
Ohio friends are anxious to see my likeness & the bullet & portions of my 
skull bones all they have to do, is to call at the army Medicinal Museum 
in Washington City D. C. I am a native Buckeye was born and 
raised in Green County, Ohio But the only redeeming traits I ever saw in 
Quantrell was that he showed by his kindness to me, after I was wounded 
that he was not entirely a Demon But history will record him a desper- 
ately bad man a highway robber, of the darkest shade & a desperate 


one day and said the Red Legs were burning houses and robbing 
people in Cass county. The order to "saddle up" rang through 
the guerrilla camp at once, and in a few minutes the whole band 
took the road. Three houses were found on fire. The Red Legs 
retreated when they saw Quantrill coming, and there was a long 
and exciting chase towards the Kansas line. At a point near 
the State line, about east of Paola, but in Missouri. Quantrill 
overhauled the marauders. A brisk skirmish ensued in which 
some of the Red Legs were wounded, but none killed. Randlett's 
guard took him up on a high place where he could see the en- 

One Saturday night while Quantrill was camped somewhere 
in Johnson county, Mo., there broke upon the air the sounds 
of hoof-beats rapidly approaching. The guerrillas were stop- 
ping with two farmers, their friends, one living on one road 
and the other on another road; these roads joined about a half 
mile from the farm-houses. The running horses rapidly 
approached, and soon a voice was heard crying out, "Don't shoot! 
don't shoot!" Two horsemen came down at a dead run and 
were captured. They claimed to be deserters from the Union 
army looking for Confederate soldiers to join. They were put 
under guard in a room at one of the houses and questioned. 
Randlett was at one of the houses under guard, and the pris- 
oners were taken to the other house. Quantrill went to Randlett 

leader of a set of the most desperate Demons that ever disgraced the name 
of man infinitely worse than he was. None of them with bravery 
enough to meet an enemy But they took every advantage of the sur- 
roundings by treachery to drench the earth with blood & carnage 

Abraham Ellis 

In this letter Ellis says Quantrill 's Brother Masons helped him 
escape from jail at Paola. 

There has been much controversy as to whether or not Quantrill was 
a Free Mason. It is not probable that he was. Captain Gregg was a 
Mason during his service under Quantrill, and he told the author that if 
Quantrill was a Mason he never made the fact known to him. It may be 
safely said that he never was a member of the Masonic order. 

Following are extracts from the second letter of Ellis: 

Elk City Kan Jan 18th 1879 
Mr. W. W. Scott My Dear Sir 

I received yours of Jan 13th a day of two ago, & I will endeavor to 
comply with your request But it would be impossible for me to describe 
any man minutely at this date, with whom I never had but a limited ac- 


and asked him if he would like to see the prisoners, and Rand- 
lett said he should like to visit them. They seemed to know 
that Randlett was with Quantrill, and they had advised Quantrill 
that Randlett be "strung up" without delay; this was reported 
to Randlett by Quantrill. Quantrill and Randlett went over to 
the house together. Before going in Randlett changed coats 
with the guard, and the prisoners supposed he was one of Quan- 
trill 's men. They told Randlett that the Yankee prisoner ought 
to be hanged at once. "When Randlett came out Quantrill asked 
him what he thought of the prisoners. Randlett said he believed 
they were thieves or spies. Shortly after Randlett arrived again 
at the house where he was stopping he heard a volley ; he never 
saw the prisoners again; no one ever mentioned them after 
that; Randlett had no doubt about their having been shot, and 
very little doubt but that they deserved it. 

As nothing could be heard from the Federal authorities 
about the exchange, Quantrill proposed to parole Randlett for 
a period of ten days and send him to Fort Leavenworth to see 
if he could effect the exchange. This being agreeable to Rand- 
lett, Quantrill marched to Independence. It was a rainy winter 

quaintance, But he was a well built man light hair blue eyes round face, 
pleasant countenance, with little or no beard (at the time he was teaching 
school at Stantoii) & in my opinion he would not weigh more than 140 
or 45 Ibs But when I saw him at Aubrey he had changed in appear- 
ance he had Mustash & Side whiskers & both had a red tinge & at that 
time, he had assumed the appearance of a desperado yet he could be 
pleasant at times He talked kindly to me a few minutes after he recog- 
nized me & promised not to disturb any more of my property & when he 
was about to leave, he discovered that one of my horses had been taken & 
he inquired who took it & was told he immediately ordered one of his 
men to go & tell him to bring that horse back immediately or it would be 
the last time that he would disobey orders This conversation was heard 
by the women I was lieing on the ground near them, at that time but 
had quit hearing things the horse was returned At the time I was 
wounded I was post Quartermaster & stationed at Barnesville a small 
town on the eastern border of Kansas about eighty miles south of Kansas 
City, Mo. I was stationed there in Sept 1861 I had served as a mem- 
ber of the first State Legislature that closed its labors June 20th 1861 
& after I was wounded in March I laid in the shade until about the last 
of August. . . . My residence at the time I was wounded was near New 
Lancaster a small village on the eastern border of Miami Co, Kan. . . . 

A. Ellis. 

Eandlett says Quantrill did not touch Ellis, and did not wash the 
blood from his face as Ellis claims, after he came down stairs. And 
Eandlett says Quantrill did not go up stairs at all. 


day. On the road a man stopped the band and said he had 
something for the men. He produced from a capacious bag 
swung to his saddle-horn a corpulent jug of apple-jack and gave 
each man a liberal drink. Quantrill told him to give Randlett 
some. This, it seems, he had entertained no notion of doing, 
but upon being directed to do so, replied, "Yes, I will give the 

some, ' ' and handed Randlett a stiff drink, 

which was relished greatly. At Independence Quantrill left 
Randlett in a hotel at the northeast corner of the public square. 
Before he went out he wrote on a sheet of paper secured from 
the hotel table the necessary papers for Randlett to take with 
him to Leavenworth in the matter of his exchange. Having done 
this, Quantrill and his men rode out of town and were gone 
several hours. 

The rain had dripped from Randlett 's overcoat and soaked 
his shoes, making his feet cold. As he sat at a stove trying to 
warm himself Randlett noticed that men began to gather at the 
hotel to see the "prisoner." They drank whiskey at the hotel 
bar and soon became boisterous. "Whoops and yells could be 
heard in the streets, and Randlett heard threats made there to go 
in and kill the prisoner. It was necessary for Randlett to get 
out of the way, and he determined to leave the hotel at once, let 
the consequences be what they might. He got up and walked 
to the interior of the house-lobby or general room, in doing which 
his attention was called to a man leaning on the bar. He was 
an old man, and said nothing, but pointed to a dooor which Rand- 
lett entered and found himself in the dining-room. The old 
man came in soon and told Randlett he was in great danger, 
and said, "I am the friend of any soldier." He went to the 
doors of the room and after a little while told Randlett that the 
coast was clear for a minute, and led him into an alley, then 
through several alleys, and finally to a large stable just off the 
northeast corner of the public square. There he told Randlett 
to get into a manger, and after Randlett had done so, he filled it 
with hay, saying that if any one came he should pull the hay up 
over him and conceal himself that the horse would be eating 
the hay but would not injure him. In a short time he brought 
the postmaster to see Randlett. The postmaster handed Rand- 


lett a letter from the military authorities in Kansas City. Rand- 
lett inquired why it had not been delivered to him. The post- 
master told him that he had heard the letter read by the colonel 
who wrote it and he knew that its delivery meant the death of 

When Quantrill returned with his men to Independence, 
Mr. Perry (the old man who had been Randlett 's friend all day) 
hunted him up and told him where Randlett was and how he 
came to be there. Quantrill and this old man were friends, 
though Perry was openly a Union man. He carried letters to 
Kansas City for Quantrill and was useful to the guerrilla in 
many other ways. Quantrill thanked him for his care and dis- 
cretion and requested him to see Randlett safely off for Kansas 
City the next morning. Perry had a large tavern building, in 
which he lived, but which he was allowing to remain idle, having 
closed out his business. But he and his wife lived in the build- 
ing, and Perry was running a stable which was attached to the 
tavern building. Quantrill remained with Perry till late in the 
night, and Mrs. Perry prepared a good supper for her husband, 
Quantrill, and Randlett. Quantrill left the house about ten 

'clock at night and marched his band out of town. 

The next morning at three o'clock Randlett was called up 

5 This was on Tuesday, the 18th day of March, 1862. The entry in 
Eandlett's diary for that date reads: 

Tuesday, March 18, '62. 
Eeleased at Independence on Parole of honor for 10 days. 

The letter was discovered by Eandlett in his search for his diary, 
mentioned before in this chapter, and is as follows: 

Kansas City, March 17/62 
Lieut. E. A. Eandlett, 


Yours of this date is received. I would say in 

answer that the communications of the Bandit Quantrell is whose hands 
you have unfortunately fallen was forwarded to Colonel Weer at Wyandotte 
and referred to General Hunter and by the Colonel sent to Leavenworth. 

1 have received no answer but I can assure you that you will soon be lib- 
erated and if the party who holds you dares harm a hair of your head they 
will one and all be hung when taken which is now only a matter of time 
and that time short. 

Yours very Eespectfully, 
John McNeil, 


Colonel McNeil was then commanding the post at Kansas City. 


by Perry and found a good breakfast ready for him and his mare 
saddled. He and Perry rode to Kansas City together. There 
Perry left him, and he went at once to Colonel McNeil's office, 
on Union avenue. "When Randlett reported to the colonel and 
made himself known McNeil abused Quantrill, but said he was 
busy, and requested that Randlett return at eight o 'clock. "When 
Randlett returned to the office he found the colonel and a captain 
standing before a big map which was hanging on the wall. The 
colonel said as Randlett entered, "Here he is now." Then he 
told Randlett that the captain was to be sent out with a com- 
pany to destroy Quantrill, and that Randlett was to go along 
as guide. Randlett said he would not go; that he was in honor 
bound to carry out his agreement with Quantrill and would not 
go with the captain. Words rose high and Randlett said to the 

colonel: "I will not go, and d n you, you can't make- me 

go," and with that he left the room in haste and descended 
a stairway so hurriedly that he ran against Colonel Weer and 
knocked him off the sidewalk. Randlett had started to find the 
colonel and was glad to find him so easily; he immediately 
related his story. Colonel Weer told Randlett that orders had 
just arrived for McNeil to turn over the command to some 
other officer, and he would not have anything more to say in the 
matter. Randlett was allowed to proceed to Leavenworth, where 
he went over his case with General Sturgis, but found his posi- 
tion the same as that of Colonel McNeil he would have noth- 
ing to do with Quantrill and would hold no communication 
with him, as he was an outlaw. Randlett was permitted to do as 
he pleased, but advised not to return to Quantrill. But Rand- 
lett considered himself in honor bound to go back to him and 
report the facts as he found them. When he arrived at Inde- 
pendence he found twelve hundred Union soldiers quartered 
in the town. No one could tell him where to find Quantrill. 
Just such an emergency had been provided for, and Randlett had 
been told to whom he should report if Quantrill could not be 
found. This he did, and then returned to Kansas City. He 
never saw Quantrill again. 6 

6 The following is taken from the Gregg Manuscript : 

Soon after the affair at the Tate House Quantrill made a raid on 


It is probable that Randlett at first told Quantrill his name 
was Brown. When captured by the border-ruffians in May, 
1856, he gave his name as R. A. Brown. The Gregg Manuscript 
says that Quantrill released Randlett after his return from Port 
Leaven worth. The entries in Randlett 's diary would bear out 
his statement that he never again saw Quantrill after leaving 
Independence to go to Fort Leaven worth, two of these entries 
being as follows: 

Monday, March 24. Arrived at Fort Leavenworth but 
could do nothing in regard to the release or exchange of Brady. 

Friday, March 28. At Kansas City Went to Indepen- 
dence and returned. 

The official report of the affair at Aubry is as follows : ? 


I have the honor to report that on the 10th instant I received 
intelligence that the rebel Quantrill had with his band entered 
Johnson County, in this State, and murdered several citizens at 
Aubrey, in said county, and carried away quite an amount of 
property. I was instructed from Headquarters of the then 
Department of Kansas to take such steps as were necessary to 
protect the citizens of the exposed region. I accordingly sent 
orders to Capt. John Greelish, Company E, Eighth Regiment 
Kansas Volunteers, to move his command immediately from 
Olathe, Kansas, to Aubrey, and to take such measures as he 
deemed best to defend the citizens of that locality. Two days 
after a skirmish took place near Aubrey between about 30 men 

Aubry, Kansas, seven or eight miles south from Santa Fe, for the pur- 
pose of securing horses to remount the men. We arrived there about sun- 
rise, and captured a number of good horses. We captured, also, a Lieuten- 
ant belonging to a Kansas cavalry regiment; his name was Brown, and we 
held him to exchange for Perry Hoy, who was then held a prisoner at Fort 
Leavenworth. We kept this Lieutenant three or four weeks. He was a 
splendid fellow, and we all became much attached to him. We allowed him 
the liberty of the camp and lines, and his uniform alone distinguished 
him from one of our men. During his detention Quantrill wrote the com- 
manding officer at Fort Leavenworth proposing to exchange Lieutenant 
Brown for private Perry Hoy; but he received no reply. Finally after 
waiting some days, Quantrill paroled the Lieutenant and sent him to Fort 
Leavenworth to effect the exchange. Within a week or ten days he returned 
and informed Quantrill that the commander at the Fort refused to make 
the exchange. 

7 Eebellion Records, Series I, Vol. VIII, p. 335. Eeport of Colonel 
Eobert H. Graham, Eighth Kansas Infantry, to Major General H. W. Hal- 
leek, Commanding the Department of the Mississippi, dated, Headquarters 
Eighth Eegiment, Kans. Vols., Leavenworth, March 19, 1862. 


of his company, under First Lieutenant Rose and a portion of 
Quantrill's band. From the official report [not found, the edi- 
tors say] of Captain Greelish I learn that it resulted in the 
retreat of Quantrill, with a loss of 2 killed and several wounded. 
Several horses were also killed. On his retreat Quantrill drove 
a family from their home and burned their house. 

On our side none killed, and but 1 wounded private 
Charles Cooney, severely in the foot. ...... 

I am fully satisfied that I cannot as provost-marshal-general, 
protect the state from guerrilla parties from without and the 
depredations of the horde of jayhawkers within in the present 
scattered condition of my regiment without several companies 
of cavalry. 



BY ALL the rules of civilized warfare Quantrill and his 
men were subject to outlawry, and early in March, 1862, 
the Federal authorities formally declared them outlaws. 
The order was issued by General Halleck, Commander of the 
Department of the Mississippi. 1 Quantrill first learned of the 

i This order has not been found. General Totten, commanding at 
Jefferson City, issued orders outlawing the guerrillas, set out here. Found 
in Rebellion Records, Series II, Vol. Ill, p. 468: 

Special^ Orders, ) Headqrs j) istrict of Central Missouri. 

Jefferson City, Mo., April 21, 1862. 

I. It is represented on reliable authority at these headquarters that 
bands of Jayhawkers, guerrillas, marauders, murderers and every species of 
outlaw are infesting to an alarming extent all the southwestern portion of 
Jackson County, and that persons of influence and wealth in these vicinities 
are knowingly harboring and thus encouraging (if not more culpably con- 
nected with) these bands of desperadoes. A prairie known as the "Doctor 
Lee Prairie," its borders and surroundings, are mentioned as the haunts 
of these outlaws and the farmers generally in these neighborhoods are said 
to be knowing to and encouraging the lawless acts of these guerrillas, etc., 
as mentioned above. Murders and robberies have been committed; Union 
men threatened and driven from their homes; the U. S. mails have been 
stopped; farmers have been prohibited planting by the proclamation of a 
well-known and desperate leader of these outlaws by the name of Quan- 
trill, and the whole country designated reduced to a state of anarchy. This 
state of things must be terminated and the guilty punished. All those 
found in arms and open opposition to the laws and legitimate authorities, 
who are known familiarly as guerrillas, Jayhawkers, murderers, marauders, 
and horse-thieves, will be shot down by the military upon the spot when 
found perpetrating their foul acts. All who have knowingly harbored or 
encouraged these outlaws in their lawless deeds will be arrested and tried 
by a military commission for their offenses, and those who have harbored 
and fed such miscreants as guerrillas, etc., but against whom clear proof 
cannot be obtained and who profess ignorance of having done these wrongs 
will be put under heavy bonds and security for their future good conduct 
or confined until they give such bonds, etc. 

II. In order to correct the evils mentioned in the preceding para- 
graph and insure the passage of the mails regularly, Lieut. E. B. Brown, 
Seventh Missouri Volunteers, commanding the counties of Jackson and Cass 
will station one company of cavalry about five miles north of Pleasant Hill 
on the southern and one company on the northern border of the "Doctor 


issuance of this order on the night of the 19th of March, 1862, 
while he and sixty of his men were quartered in the little Blue 
Baptist church, about twelve miles southeast of Independence. 2 
This intelligence came through the medium of the Missouri 
Republican. After Quantrill had read the order he mounted 
his men and read it to them, carefully explaining to them that 
they were all deprived of the benefits of the civil or military laws, 
that from that day no quarter would be given them, and that 
Federal soldiers would hang or shoot them at once, wherever 
captured or found. He gave his men an opportunity to remain 
with him or not as they might wish, for men choosing outlawry 
must make the choice freely and voluntarily if anything worth 
while is to be accomplished by them. There were twenty men 
from Johnson county, Mo., in the force, and these rode out, 
abandoned him, and rode home. But by so doing they had not 
improved their condition. They were still outlaws, and when 
this fact impressed itself upon them, they returned to Quantrill 
after the absence of a month. Many young men of Jackson 
county, already in the brush, now joined Quantrill, and by the 
22d of March, 1862, his command numbered more than a hun- 
dred men. 

Quantrill could not let his men remain inactive. If he 
could not keep them constantly employed his band would disin- 
tegrate and disappear. After reading the order of outlawry to 
his men he immediately left the Little Blue church and marched 

Lee Prairie" to punish these guerrillas and escort the mail in safety when- 
ever necessary. 

III. Major Carley, commanding post at Warrensburg, will send one 
company First Iowa Cavalry to proceed to Pleasant Hill and escort the 
mail now there through to Independence, when it will return again to 
its present post. 

By order of Brig. Gen. James Totten, commanding district. 

Lucien J. Barnes, 
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General. 

*F. Luther Wayman, Muskogee, Oklahoma, told the author, in April, 
1909, that this was an old log church, "eight-cornered" or octagonal in 
form. He also said that when Quantrill had read the order over to himself 
and reflected on it a few minutes, he stood on a bench and explained it to 
his men. Then he said to the prisoner, Lieutenant Eandlett, "What do 
you think of that, lieutenant?" Bandlett replied: "I could not blame 
you for shooting me, now." After some joking, Quantrill said, "Not a 
hair of your head shall be harmed." 

to the house of Captain Deering, four miles south of Indepen- 
dence, and camped. This movement was in consequence of infor- 
mation which he had received to the effect that Independence 
was held by a force of but seventy-five Union soldiers. He 
believed he could defeat that force and that he might possibly 
capture it, in which event he would see what the Federal authori- 
ties might think of what an outlaw could do in the line of retali- 
ation. But when Captain Deering arrived at home from Inde- 
pendence he told Quantrill that three hundred additional troops 
had been sent to the town. Quantrill did not dare attack so 
many, and he was inactive until the morning of the 22d of March. 
On that day he decided to sweep about the south skirts of Kan- 
sas City in search of adventure. At Pitcher's Mill he struck the 
Westport road. From that point a small scouting party was 
sent in advance. This party captured a Federal sergeant at 
the Big Blue bridge, now known as Twenty-seventh Street 
bridge. The sergeant was disarmed and dismounted just as 
Quantrill came up with the main body of his men. Fully to 
impress them with the condition in which they found themselves 
as the result of the order of outlawry, as well as to set an example 
which should be followed faithfully by them all in the future, 
Quantrill drew his pistol and shot the sergeant dead. Then 
facing his command, he flourished his smoking revolver aloft 
and cried in a loud voice: 

"Boys, Halleck issued the order, but we draw the first 

While the blood of the sergeant was still running red upon 
the ground an old man and his son, a small boy, came out of the 
city upon the highway leading across this bridge. The man was 
seized, accused of being a spy and informer, given a brief trial, 
convicted and immediately shot in the presence of the child. 
Then the bridge was burned, the command mounted and marched 
away from its victory, leaving a dead soldier, a dead citizen, a 
terrorized orphan boy weeping by the corpse of his murdered 

It was still early in the day, and the guerrilla band rode 
to the Majors farm, eighteen miles southeast of Kansas City, in 
time for dinner. Here Quantrill lingered until near night, 


when he took his men to the house of David Tate, near the 
State-line, and near the station now known as Red Bridge, about 
three miles south of Little Santa Fe. Quantrill and twenty of his 
men stopped with Tate. Gregg and Todd, with ten men, stopped 
at the Wyatt farm, a mile south of the Tate house. Hallar, 
with a squad, went south beyond the Wyatt homestead to find 
lodging with a friendly farmer, and Kerr went still south of 

Quantrill and his men believed that some one living near the 
Tate house went to the Union troops and notified them of their 
presence at Tate's farm. Tate was already under suspicion at 
headquarters in Kansas City. He had been aiding Quantrill, if 
not actually a member of his band occasionally, and this was not 
the first time he had harbored a guerrilla band. Plans for his 
capture had been under consideration for some time before this 
date. When it was known in Kansas City that Quantrill had 
burned the Big Blue bridge and turned southwestward it was 
believed that he would go to the vicinity of the Tate house. 
Major Banzhaf, First Battalion Missouri Cavalry, notified Col- 
onel Robert B. Mitchell, Second Kansas Cavalry, of the move- 
ments of Quantrill, and requested him to come to his assistance 
with troops. Colonel Mitchell left Kansas city at 6:30 P. M., 
of the 22d, and arrived at Little Santa Fe about ten o'clock 
the same evening. He immediately made a detail from Com- 
pany D, to be commanded by .Captain Amaziah Moore, and 
one from Company E, to be commanded by Lieutenant Elias S. 
Stover. He put this detachment under the command of Major 
James M. Pomeroy (Second Kansas) and sent it to capture and 
bring in David Tate. 

When Major Pomeroy reached the Tate house he demanded 
admittance. The response to this demand was a shot fired 
through the door, doing no harm. He then called on the inmates 
to surrender, to which no answer was made. He then ordered 
them to send out their women and children, if any were in the 
house. Nothing was said in answer to this demand, but revolver- 
shots were fired from the windows. Quantrill was stacking fur- 
niture and bedding against the doors and windows all this time. 
Major Pomeroy ordered his men to fire a volley into the house. 


This resulted in the cries of women and children, and he ordered 
the firing to cease. The women and children came out of the 
house and were sent to a place of safety, and both sides began 
firing. At this point two men came out through a window and 
surrendered, stating that Quantrill and twenty-six men were in 
the house. Major Pomeroy then notified the inmates that he 
would burn the house unless they surrendered at once. Upon 
their refusal to surrender an attempt was made to set the house 
on fire, but the part against which the fire was kindled was of 
logs, and it did not take fire until the light material was burned 
up. In this attempt to fire the house Major Pomeroy and a pri- 
vate were shot. The wound of Major Pomeroy disabled him, and 
Captain Moore took command and sent to Colonel Mitchell for 
reinforcements. He gave the inmates notice that the house 
would be fired unless they surrendered immediately, and as there 
was no response the house was set on fire and burned rapidly. 
Quantrill had expected the house to be set on fire, and his 
movements had been directed to finding a means to escape. 
Nothing to further this design had presented itself. Now he saw 
that he must leave without delay. Per- 
haps the red blood spilled at Big Blue 
bridge that morning did not cry from 
the ground with enough force to influence 
him. There was already too much on his 
hands for that of two men to make any 
material addition. He was cool and col- 
lected. In searching the lower portions 
of the house for a means of exit he came 
upon a part of the wall made only of 
weatherboarding. Marshaling his men in 
this room, he broke down the wall with 
some article of furniture and made a 
breach large enough to admit him and his 
men. They tumbled out helter-skelter and dashed into the thick 
brush and timber growing near-by and were lost in the dark- 
ness. As they ran from the house two of them were shot down, 
one killed and one mortally wounded ; be died the following day. 
When the prisoners came out of the window they reported that 




four or five guerrillas were wounded, and Colonel Mitchell could 
plainly see five bodies in the burning building when he arrived. 
Colonel Mitchell says he took six prisoners, so the loss of Quan- 
trill must have been at least seven men 'killed and six prisoners, 
thirteen all told. The two men killed outside the house were 
brothers named Rollen. 

The Union loss was Major Pomeroy wounded, and private 
William Wills dangerously wounded in the right arm near the 
shoulder with a minnie ball and in the groin with buck-shot, 
dying afterwards. The guerrillas lost their horses and all their 

Colonel Mitchell led his men to an attack upon the Wyatt 
homestead, leaving the Tate house at 6 :30 A. M. Upon his 
approach the men there fled to the timber, which was near the 
house. He dismounted some of his men and sent them into the 
woods in pursuit, and they captured two of the guerrillas. 

Few commanders would have escaped from this burning 
building with any of their men. Quantrill's actions there showed 
courage and ability. But he was fighting for his life, as was 
every man with him. They knew they were outlaws. They had 
accepted the challenge and had shed the first blood under the 
new order. Their lives were forfeited. Surrender meant death. 
Knowing this, they believed they might as well die fighting. All 
the desperate courage of these guerrillas came from the position 
in which the order of outlawry placed them. The old excuse 
originated by Major Edwards, that each man had a private 
personal grievance, was never anything but an excuse. It stated 
no fact. Men in the regular and volunteer service lost fathers 
and brothers and property, but they did not become blood-mad 
because of it. Many of the events named as the causes of des- 
perate deeds by guerrillas occurred long after the bloody actions 
they were made to justify at a later date. 

Some parts of the official report of Colonel Mitchell are 
given here that the truth may be compared with the fiction of 
Major Edwards.3 

3 Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. VIII, pp. 346-47. Eeport of Colonel 
Robert B. Mitchell, Second Kansas Cavalry, to Major W. E. Blair, Com'd'g, 
Leavenworth, Kansas. 


Hdqrs, Second Regiment Kansas Volunteers, 

Camp Blair, March 24, 1862. 
Major : 

I have the honor to report that on the night of the 22d, in 
accordance with a request from Major Banzhaf, commanding 
First Battalion Missouri Cavalry, and also in pursuance of a 
pJan that I had been maturing for some time, I left camp with a 
detachment detailed from all the companies in this command, 
the detachment about 300 in number, with Majors Fisk and 

Quantrill, with a part of his gang, had burned the bridge 
between Kansas City and Independence, and it was contem- 
plated by Major Banzhaf to march from Kansas City, and in 
conjunction with Colonel "Weer, Fourth Kansas, to surround 
and entrap Quantrill. 

I left camp about 6 :30 p. m. of the 22nd inst, reached Little 
Santa Fe about 10 o'clock that night, and sent Major Pomeroy 
about 3 miles from the town, with instructions to arrest one 
David Tate, whom I had reason to believe was connected with 
Quantrill. Major Pomeroy had with him a detachment of Com- 
panies D and E, under command of Captain Moore and Lieuten- 
ant Stover. When Major Pomeroy reached the house he 
demanded entrance, and a gun was immediately fired through 
the door. He then called upon them to surrender, and to send 
out their women and children if they had any in the house. 
After waiting some time, while shots were fired from the house, 
he ordered a volley to be fired into the house. The cries of 
women were then heard, when he ordered the men to cease firing. 
The women and children then came out and the firing was 
resumed on both sides. Two of the men then came out of one of 
the windows and surrendered. They stated to Major Pomeroy 
that Quantrill was in the house with 26 men. Major Pomeroy 
then threatened to fire the house, and upon their continued 
refusal to surrender he ordered the house to be fired, and an 
attempt was made to fire it, but without success. Major Pom- 
eroy and private Wills of Company D, were at this time shot. 
Major Pomeroy becoming disabled, Captain Moore took com- 
mand, and sent back to me requesting reinforcements so as not 
to let any of the men escape. Captain Moore having threatened, 
in case of the enemy not surrendering, to set fire to the house 
and they still refusing to do so, he ordered the house to be again 
set on fire, and this time the flames rapidly enveloped the house. 
The men in the house who were not wounded then burst out the 
weatherboarding at the back of the house and ran for the tim- 
ber immediately in the rear. Two were shot down as they ran - 
1 killed instantly and 1 mortally wounded, who died about 3 


o'clock in the afternoon. The others escaped, and though the 
woods were carefully scoured, no traces of them were found. 
While the firing was taking place several men were seen to fall 
in the house, and the prisoners stated when they were first taken 
that there were 4 or 5 wounded. Five bodies could be distinctly 
seen in the flames at the time I reached the spot with that part 
of the command which was left behind. I caused all the horses 
and horse equipments of the enemy to be gathered together and 
guarded and remained at the house until 6:30 o'clock in the 
morning, when I started for the house of one Wyatt. As we 
neared the house 6 or 7 men were seen to break from it into the 
brush immediately adjoining the premises. I immediately dis- 
mounted some of my men and sent them into the brush, but suc- 
ceeded in capturing only 2 

Our loss was as follows : Major Pomeroy, severely wounded 
with a minnie ball in the right thigh near the femoral artery; 
Private William Wills, of Company D, since died, with a minnie 
ball in the right arm near the shoulder, and also with buck-shot 
in the groin and abdomen. We also lost two horses in the fight. 
The Jayhawks' loss was 5 killed or wounded and burned up in 
the house, 2 killed outside, and 6 prisoners. We took 25 horses, 
some of which have been already identified as belonging to par- 
ties in this state, from whom they were stolen, and about 20 sets 
of horse equipments. The 2 men killed outside the house were 
named Rollen (brothers) . The names of those killed and burned 
up in the house I am unable to ascertain 

Particular attention is called to the fact that Colonel Mitch- 
ell here calls Quantrill and his men Jayhawks Jayhawkers. 
Of this matter something will be said at the end of this chapter. 

As against the official report of Colonel Mitchell the fanciful 
account written by Major Edwards is here set out. The exag- 
gerations of Edwards in this account are duplicated in every 
account of a battle he describes. His object was to make heroes 
of Quantrill and his men: 

The house was surrounded! To the men within-side this 
meant, unless they could get out, death by fire and sword. 
Quantrell was trapped, he who had been accorded the fox's 
cunning and the panther's activity. He glided to the window 
and looked out cautiously. The cold stars shone, and the blue 
figures under them and on every hand seemed colossal. The fist 
of a heavy man struck the door hard, and a deep voice com~ 
manded: "Make a light." There had been no firing as yet 
save the shot of the sentinel and its answering volley. Quantrell 


went quietly to all who were still asleep and bade them get up 
and get ready. It was the moment when death had to be looked 
in the face. Not a word was spoken. The heavy fist was still 
hammering at the door. Quantrell crept to it on tip-toe, listened 
a second at the sounds outside, and fired. " Oh ! " and a stalwart 
Federal fell prone across the porch, dying. "You asked for a 

light, and you've got it, d n you," Quantrell ejeculated, 

cooler than his pistol barrel. Afterwards there was no more 
bravado. "Bar the doors and barricade the windows!" he 
shouted ; ' ' quick, men ! ' ' Beds were freely used and applicable 
furniture. Little and Shepherd stood by one door; Jarrette, 
Younger, Toler, and Hoy barricaded the other and made the 
windows bullet-proof. Outside the Federal fusilade was inces- 
sant. Mistaking Tate's house for a frame house when it was 
built of brick, the commander of the enemy could be heard en- 
couraging his men to shoot low and riddle the dwelling. Pres- 
ently there was a lull. Neither party fired for the space of sev- 
eral minutes, and Quantrell spoke to his people: "Boys, we 
are in a tight place. We can't stay here, and I do not mean to 
surrender. All who want to follow me out can say so; all who 
prefer to give up without a rush can also say so. I will do the 
best I can for them." Four concluded to appeal to the Federals 
for protection; seventeen to follow Quantrell to the death. He 
called a parley and informed the Federal commander that four 
of his followers wanted to surrender. "Let them come out," 
was the order. Out they went and the fight began again. Too 
eager to see what manner of men their prisoners were, the Fed- 
erals holding the west front of the house huddled about them 
eagerly. Ten guerillas from the upper story fired at the crowd 
and brought down six. A roar followed this, and a rush back 
again to cover at the double quick. It was hot work now. Quan- 
trell, supported by James Little, Cole Younger, Hoy, and 
Stephen Shores, held the upper story, while Jarrette, Toler, 
George Shepherd, and others held the lower. Every shot told. 
The proprietor of the house, Major Tate, was a Southern hero, 
grey-headed but Roman. He went about laughing. "Help me 
to get my family but, boys," he said, "and I will help you to 
hold the house. It's as good a time for me to die, I reckon, as 
any other, if so be that God wills it. But the old woman is only 
a woman." Another parley. Would the Federal commander 
let the women and children out? Yes, gladly, and the old man, 
too. There was eagerness for this, and much of veritable cun- 
ning. The family occupied an ell of the mansion with which 
there was no communication from the main building where 
Quantrell and his men were save by way of a door which opened 
upon a porch, and this porch was under the concentrated fire 


of the assailants. After the family moved out the attacking 
party would throw skirmishers in, and then the torch. Quan- 
trell understood it in a moment, and spoke up to the father of 
the family: "Go out, Major. It is your duty to be with your 
wife and children." The old man went, protesting. Perhaps 
for forty years the blood had not coursed so pleasantly and so 
rapidly through his veins. Giving ample time for the family to 
get safely beyond the range of fire of the besieged, Quantrell 
went back to his post and looked out. He saw two Federals 
standing together beyond revolver range. "Is there a shot-gun 
here?" he asked. Cole Younger brought him one loaded with 
buck-shot. Thrusting half his body out the nearest window, 
and receiving as many volleys as there were sentinels, he fired 
the two barrels of his gun so near together that they sounded 
as one barrel. Both Federals fell, one dead, the other mortally 
wounded. There followed this daring and conspicuous feat a 
yell so piercing and exultant that even the horses, hitched in the 
timber fifty yards away, reared in their fright and snorted with 
terror. Black columns of smoke blew past the windows where 
the Guerillas were, and a bright red flame leaped up toward the 
sky on the wings of the wind. The ell of the house had been 
fired, and was burning fiercely. Quantrell 's face just a little 
paler than usual had a set look that was not good to see. 
The tiger was at bay. Many of the men 's revolvers were empty, 
and in order to gain time to load them, another parley was had. 
The talk was of surrender. The Federal commander demanded 
immediate submission, and Shepherd, with a voice heard above 
the rage and roar of the flames, pleaded for twenty minutes. 
No. Ten? No. Five? No. Then the commander cried out in 
a voice not a whit inferior to Shepherd's in compass: "You 
have one minute. If, at its expiration, you have not surrendered, 
not a single man of you shall escape alive." "Thank you," 
said Cole Younger, sotto voce, "catching comes before hanging." 

"Count sixty then, and be d d to you," Shepherd shouted 

as a parting volley, and then a strange silence fell upon these 
desperate men face to face with imminent death. When every 
man was ready, Quantrell said briefly: "Shot-guns to the front." 
Six, loaded heavily with buck-shot, were borne there, and he put 
himself at the head of the six who carried them. Behind these 
were those having only revolvers. In single file, the charging 
column was formed in the main room of the building. The glare 
of the burning ell lit it up as though the sun was shining there. 
Some tightened their pistol belts. One fell upon his knees and 
prayed. Nobody scoffed at him, for God was in that room. He 
is everywhere when heroes confess. There were seventeen who 
were about to receive the fire of three hundred. 


Ready ! Quantrell flung the door wide open and leaped out. 
The shot-gun men Jarrette, Younger, Shepherd, Toler, Little 
and Hoy were hard behind him. Right and left from the thin 
short column a fierce fire beat into the very faces of the Federals, 
who recoiled in some confusion, shooting, however, from every 
side. There was a yell and a grand rush, and when the end had 
come and all the fixed realities figured up, the enemy had 
eighteen killed, twenty-nine badly wounded, and five prisoners, 
and the captured horses of the Guerillas. Not a man of Quan- 
trell 's command was touched. 

Thus it always is in the work of Major Edwards. Quan- 
trill escapes without loss, or with an insignificant loss, when he 
retreats. And he always inflicts immense loss on the Union 
soldiers. Here he is credited with having killed eighteen and 
wounded twenty-nine. The truth is, as shown by the official 
report, that the Union loss was two wounded, one of whom died. 
At the Big Blue bridge Quantrill shot down thirteen Union sol- 
diers, according to Edwards. But, as we have seen, he shot but 
a sergeant and a citizen, and the authority for that statement is 
the Gregg Manuscript, written by one of Quantrill's men who 
was present, and who is known to be truthful and reliable. And, 
according to Edwards, every skirmish and battle fought by 
Quantrill resulted in a victory for him, though he records it often 
that he had to run for it, and frequently had to scatter his men 
to avoid destruction. The average reader wonders why it was- 
necessary to flee for life and scatter like birds after a victory 
had been won. According to Edwards, Quantrill and his men 
must have killed several thousand Union soldiers during the war. 
The truth is, that the number of soldiers killed by Quantrill 
and his men was insignificant, and those killed were mainly shot 
from ambush. 

The work of Major Edwards is the standard authority on 
Quantrill and his men, and this is why it is necessary often to- 
call attention to its exaggerations. 


In going through the Rebellion Records the author finds 
that the name "Jayhawkers" was applied indiscriminately to- 
irregular bands on both sides in Kansas and Missouri and to both 


Kansans and Missourians. It did not, during the war, certainly 
not in the first years of the war, have any more application to 
Kansas people than to any other people. 

When and how the name ' ' Jayhawkers " came to be applied 
to Kansans in their forays for depredation does not appear. 
And how the Kansas people came to be generally called Jay- 
hawkers has so far not had any satisfactory explanation. The 
Pat Devlin fiction perpetrated in Andreas 's History of Kansas 
was never worth any serious consideration. Even the origin of 
the word "jayhawker" has not .been satisfactorily traced. It 
is known that some Forty-niners who survived the terrible or- 
deal of crossing Death Valley called themselves Jayhawkers, but 
they themselves did not know why. One of them claims that 
the word originated with them, but his explanation of its origin 
is as ridiculous as that given by Pat Devlin. And the other 
members of the company made no such claim, and intimate that 
the name was in use long before the party reached the Platte, 
where the member of the party who claims it originated with 
them says it was "coined." The word did not originate with 
this party that is certain. 

It has been said to have originated in the patriot army of 
Texas fighting for the Independence of the Lone Star State 
against Mexico, under General Houston. 



FROM the Tate house Quantrill made his way on foot to 
the house of David Wilson, on the head waters of the 
Little Blue. He was almost exhausted when he arrived 
there. He waited at Wilson's for the gathering of his men, for he 
had sent couriers to notify those at the Wyatt homestead and 
other places that the rendezvous had been fixed on the head waters 
of the Little Blue. Quantrill, however, did not remain at the 
house of Wilson until all his men arrived, fearing the Union 
forces. In two or three days he moved to the house of John Flan- 
nery, where he remained until Hallar and his other followers came 
in. When all had assembled he gave. them directions for again 
coming together and then disbanded his men long enough to allow 
those who had lost their horses to secure new mounts. All were 
to report within a few days at a designated point on the Sni. 
By the last of March the command had reassembled, and the 
men were eager to be on the trail. 

Quantrill soon made his camp at the farm of Samuel C. 
Clark, near Pink Hill, which is about nineteen miles southwest 
from Independence. Here he was attacked on Sunday, the 30th 
of March, 1862, by Captain Albert P. Peabody, commanding 
Company D, First Missouri Cavalry. Captain Peabody was in 
command of a detachment of sixty-five men, and he was search- 
ing for Quantrill, having heard that he was at Pink Hill. When 
nearing that point he had divided his force, placing thirty-five 
men under command of Lieutenant White of Company C, and 
retaining thirty men commanded by Second Lieutenant Gurnee, 
of Company D. With these two detachments he began to scour 
the country for the purpose of routing Quantrill from his hiding- 
place. Captain Peabody discovered his camp at the Clark farm 
and charged upon it. Quantrill was taken by surprise. Koger 
had just arrived from a visit to an acquaintance in the neighbor- 


hood, and was hitching his horse to the rail fence in front of the 
house when the firing commenced; he was slightly wounded by 
the first shot fired. Gregg was acting barber, cutting a com- 
rade's hair in the front yard. All the guerrillas got to cover at 
once and made preparations for a bold stand. 

Quantrill had with him about thirty men, though the official 
reports credit him with twice that number at the beginning of 
the fight and say that he received reinforcements from neighbor- 
ing farmers and at the conclusion had one hundred and fifty 
men, a thing not at all probable. The battle was fought between 
the sixty-five Federals and about half that number of guerrillas. 

Quantrill^ with eight men, fought from the lower story of the 
Clark dwelling, and Todd, with eight men, fought from the 
upper story. Gregg, with eight men, fought from the negro 
cabins. The dwelling and negro cabins were built of logs, from 
between which the chinking was knocked to make port holes 
through which to fire. Quantrill 's horses were in the barn 
about two hundred feet from the dwelling. 

Captain Peabody sent a courier to bring up Lieutenant 
White, and as soon as the detachment arrived he charged the 
dwelling. This charge convinced Quantrill that he could not 
hold the premises; perhaps he had no intention of doing so 
longer than was necessary to secure his horses, from which he 
was cut off. The charge caused him to determine to escape at 
once. He divided his men equally between himself and Todd 
and left Todd to hold the house. He started to the barn, but had 
not reached it when Captain Peabody came down in another 
charge. This scared Todd, and he called loudly for Quantrill 
to return, which he did. Peabody was now closing in upon the 
guerrillas, and Quantrill ordered his men to follow him 
from the house, and the whole band fled to the rough timber- 
land at the back of the house, losing all their horses. 

The official reports ' state the losses as follows : Union, 
three wounded two slightly, one severely; killed, none; three 

i Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. VIII, p. 358. Report of Major 
Charles Banzhaf, First Missouri Cavalry, to Maj.-Gen. H. W. Halleck, Com- 
manding Department of the Mississippi. Dated, Kansas City, Mo., April 
5, 1862. 


horses shot dead. Guerrillas, six killed; wounded carried away 
and nothing known of the number; twenty horses and equip- 
ments. As usual, Edwards has a large number of Union soldiers 
killed twenty-seven at one volley, as well as their horses. 

It is doubtful whether the guerrillas had any killed or 
wounded. The Gregg Manuscript says the slight wound sus- 
tained by Koger was their only damage, except the loss of the 

Captain Peabody had sent to Pink Hill for reinforcements, 
and these were promptly started fifty-one men under Captain 
Murphy. In his retreat Quantrill went to the Sni ford by which 
these reinforcements would have to cross to reach the Clark 
homestead. He took a position on a high bluff with a steep face 
which commanded the ford. Captain Murphy found Quantrill 
there and attacked him, though at much disadvantage. The 
guerrillas poured in a vigorous fire until Captain Peabody, hav- 
ing now burned all the buildings at the Clark homestead and 
started to follow, came up on their trail and struck their rear. 
Then they retired. Losses in this engagement, as stated in the 
official reports, 2 were as follows : Union ; two wounded, one mor- 
tally ; two horses killed. Guerrillas ; five killed, six wounded, and 
one taken prisoner. As Captain Kaiser could have no means of 
ascertaining the number of guerrillas wounded, the accuracy of 
his statement of the losses of Quantrill is open to question.^ 

The guerrillas were again dismounted, and a period of in- 
activity lasting a few days was necessary in order to secure 
horses for the men. The rendezvous was at the house of Reuben 
Harris, ten miles south of Independence. There Quantrill 

* Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. VIII, p. 360. Eeport of Captain 
John B. Kaiser, Boonville Battalion, Missouri Cavalry (Militia), to Col. 
John D. Stevenson. Dated, Pink Hill, Mo., April 1, 1862. 

3 Brig.-Gen. James Totten, U. S. Army, made a report of this affair, 
which can be found in Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. VIII, p. 359, in 

which he uses the following: " of a skirmish which took place 

between his command and some bands of Quantrill 's and Parker's Jay- 
hawkers. ' ' 

Captain Kaiser, in the report cited above, uses the term "Parker's 
and Quantrill 's Jayhawkers." 

These instances are here mentioned to illustrate further what the 
author said on the subject of "Jayhawkers," ante. 


planned to capture Harrisonville, county-seat of Cass county, 
and to this end moved to the house of Job Crabtree, eight miles 
east of Independence, on the Little Blue. The report of the 
activity of Captain Peabody caused Quantrill to abandon his 
design to capture Harrisonville, and he moved from Crabtree 's 
to an abandoned house, known as the Jordan Lowe house, twelve 
miles southwest from Independence, and not far from Little 
Santa Fe. He and his men slept in the timber near the house. 

The Union troops were actively looking for Quantrill. Lieut- 
Col. Brown, of the Seventh Missouri Cavalry, had been trailing 
him for five days. Having arranged with a scout to be at Ray 
Point (Jackson county) at midnight of the 15th of April, 1862, 
with definite information as to Quantrill 's camp, he sent a de- 
tachment of thirty men of the First Missouri Cavalry, command- 
ed by Lieutenant G. W. Nash, to capture him. The scout was 
successful, and he met Lieutenant Nash at Ray Point with the 
desired information. The night was very dark. A heavy thun- 
derstorm raged until four o'clock, A. M., of the 16th, and rain 
fell in torrents, the darkness and rain completely concealing 
the movements of Nash's force. The heavy rain drove Quantrill 
and his men from the timber to the house. They posted no 
guard, supposing that no troops would be out in such a night. 
The door was barred, and the men went to sleep, some of them 
in the loft. Their horses were hitched to the fence at the rear 
of the house. 

Just at dawn and while the men were yet asleep, Lieutenant 
Nash arrived at the Lowe house and quiet- 
ly secured the horses of the guerrillas. 
He then threw his men about the house 
and opened fire. The surprise was com- 
plete. But Quantrill had no thought of 
surrendering. He determined to escape 
from the house at once and called on all 
the men to follow him. Todd, Blunt, and 
Gilchrist were firing from the loft and did 
not hear the order to abandon the house. |^ JJP 

When the guerrillas had almost reached 
the timber Cole Younger noticed that Dick 


Todd was still firing from the loft, and he returned to bring him 
off. He succeeded in getting Todd away, but the others were 
captured. A new recruit, an Irish boy, was killed, as was Wil- 
liam Carr. Gilchrist was killed, and Blunt was wounded. 4 

It has always been represented by the Missouri biographers 
of Quantrill that he was engaged in protecting the Southern 
sympathizers and was engaged in a righteous and holy defensive 
warfare in Missouri against invading hordes from Kansas, mo- 
lesting no man not in arms, conducting his irregular warfare 
in great simplicity and good faith, with the good of the people 
at heart a sort of Francis Marion a patriot of pure char- 
acter, the champion of innocent and helpless people, never doing 
anything wrong. 

In the official report of Captain John B. Kaiser, before cited, 
it is said : 

The Union people here are suffering greatly from the bands 
of these ruffians. They are daily driven from their homes and 
many of them are caught and either hung or shot. No Union 
man is safe one mile from camp unless a force is with him. 
Parker's and QuantrilPs bands now number nearly two hundred 
men, as nearly as I can learn. The peaceable citizens are very 
anxious that I remain. 

And attention is called to the fact that the official reports 
make it plain that it was not the Kansas troops that were sta- 
tioned along the border, but in almost every instance these troops 
were Missourians who had enlisted in the Union army. So far, 
it does not appear that any Kansas troops were in any battle 
with Quantrill and his men. Nor does it appear that they were 
stationed in Jackson county. And these reports show that 
Quantrill had to contend with Missouri troops, was chased and 

4 The official report of this affair is found in Rebellion Eecords, 
Series I, Vol. XIII, p. 58. Eeport of E. B. Brown, Lieutenant-Colonel, Com- 
manding Seventh Missouri Infantry, to Captain Lucien J. Barnes, A. A. 
Gen., Jefferson City. Dated, Independence, Mo., April 16, 1862. This 
report fixes the loss of the guerrillas at four killed, four wounded, and 
five prisoners, horses, clothing, and other property. The Gregg Manuscript 
says Gilchrist was killed and Blunt wounded after they were captured. 
It makes no mention of the Irish boy nor of William Carr. No loss 
reported by the Union troops. 


attacked by Union troops from Missouri and not from Kansas. 
And all this confirms the position taken in a former chapter 
that the Missouri people were hopelessly divided in the war, and 
that most of the outrages committed in that State were commit- 
ted by Missourians upon Missourians. There can be no doubt 
that troops enlisted in other States committed crimes in Missouri, 
and that some of the worst of these crimes were committed by 
Kansas troops under Jennison. But these things were not 
countenanced by the Kansas people any more than were the acts 
of Quantrill by the Missouri people; and Jennison was discred- 
ited and resigned. 

Official reports usually show a very different state of af- 
fairs from rumors and general talk and gossip. 

IT IS probable that in May, 1862, QuantrilTs ammunition was 
exhausted and that he was unable to procure a supply. He 
had usually been successful in having the women of Jackson 
county who sympathized with him get pistol caps, lead and 
powder from Kansas City. This resource had now failed him. 
His operations could not go on without ammunition, and as all 
his efforts to replenish his store had failed, he determined to go 
himself and procure a supply. Two plug horses were provided. 
On these Quantrill and Todd rode to Hannibal, Missouri. There 
they sold the horses. In three or four days they succeeded in 
buying about fifty thousand pistol-caps without arousing the 
suspicions of the military authorities there. They returned by 
the way of St. Joseph, going to that point by rail. From St. 
Joseph they returned to their haunts, riding from Platte City 
to Harlem, Clay county, in a hack or closed carriage. There a 
sentinel challenged the driver, and while he was questioning the 
gentleman of the reins and whip, Todd and Quantrill escaped 
from the conveyance by the door on the side from the sentinel. 
They went down the north bank of the Missouri River seeking 
means to cross. Fortunately they came upon Andrew Blunt 
and William Bledsoe, who were fishing from a skiff "jugging 
for catfish in the shutes of the Missouri." The meeting was a 
surprise to both parties, for the guerrillas did not know where 
their chief had gone, and Quantrill did not expect to find any 
of his men so near to Kansas City. 1 

Quantrill was active in a small way, only, during the month 

i The hairbreadth escapes and thrilling adventures of Quantrill and 
Todd in Federal camps, dressed in the uniforms of Federal officers, an 
set forth by Major Edwards, are all pure fiction, so far as the author has 
been able to learn. Careful research fails to find any verification of the 
account. Edwards has them remain three days in St. Joseph, at the head- 
quarters of the Union troops, pretending to be majors in the army. 


of June, 1862. He seems to have remained away from the vicin- 
ity of Independence, and to have avoided the Union troops. Only 
occasional glimpses are caught of him in the official reports, and 
indirect mention of his presence here and there. He was evi- 
dently riding industriously and undoubtedly harrassing Union 
citizens, no doubt hanging, shooting, and robbing them fre- 
quently. But the war was growing in volume and intensity, 
and many minor matters escaped notice. 2 

The return of Colonel Upton S. Hays to Jackson county 
for the purpose of recruiting a regiment for the Confederacy 
was the beginning of a season of activity for Quantrill and his 
men. He arrived about the middle of June and immediately 
sought Quantrill and requested his assistance. Quantrill agreed 
to help. They planned to change the field of operations to some 
point away from Jackson county, hoping to lead the Union troops 
a fruitless chase; and when the country was clear Hays would 
return and enlist his men without molestation. With this end 
in view they led the guerrilla bands to the south some eighty 
miles, to the north part of Henry county. They camped on 
Walnut creek in a vacant farm-house, where they were attacked 
the following morning, wounding and capturing one of the 
Union men. 

When it was certain that the Union forces knew of the ap- 
pearance of the guerrillas to the south, and their absence from 
their usual haunts, Hays became impatient to begin his recruit- 
ing. He asked Quantrill for a body-guard with which to return 
to Jackson county. Quantrill gave him Todd and thirty men. 
Hays departed early in July, leaving Quantrill with sixty-five 
men. Even then the Union forces were closing in on Quantrill. 
Major James 0. Gower, First Iowa Cavalry, heard of him on 
the 8th on Sugar creek, near Wadesburg, Cass county, and sent 
out Lieutenant Reynolds, Company A, First Iowa, with ninety 
men to search for him. This detachment then returned to 

2 'Rebellion Eecords, Series I, Vol. XIII, pp. 120, 131, 132, 156, 157, 
mention Quantrill at this period. He was in the vicinity of Pink Hill, in 
the edges of Cass and Johnson counties, and perhaps he hovered sometimes 
along the State-line. 


Major Gower sent dispatches to Butler and Warrensburg 
directing details of men to meet him at the Lotspiech farm, Cass 
county. At five A. M., on the 10th, Major Gower marched for 
the rendezvous with seventy-five men, arriving at eleven o'clock, 
where he found Captain William H. Ankey with sixty-five of the 
First Iowa, and Captain William A. Martin with sixty-five men 
of the Seventh Missouri. Shortly afterward sixty men of the 
First Missouri Cavalry under Captain M. Kehoe and Lieutenant 
White, came up, making a total force of two hundred and sixty- 
five men. 

Quantrill's trail was struck at Lincoln Ford on Big creek 
by Captain Kehoe, he having left his camp on Sugar creek at 
four o'clock P. M., of the 9th. The trail was followed east of 
Rose Hill, Johnson county, then up Big creek to the Hornsby 
farm, where the guerrillas had taken dinner. Having marched 
his men fifty miles, Major Gower camped there, and it was 
agreed that all should start the next morning, Friday the llth, 
at daybreak. 

At the appointed time Captain Kehoe 's command was in 
the saddle, and notice was sent to Major Gower that it was ready 
to move. Not receiving a response, and supposing that the Iowa 
troops would follow immediately, Captain Kehoe marched slowly 
in the direction of the guerrilla camp. About four miles west 
of Pleasant Hill he encountered Quantrill's pickets, and he at 
once sent word to Major Gower that he was about to engage the 
enemy, and calling for reinforcements. Half a mile beyond the 
picket station Captain Kehoe found Quantrill's command at the 
house of one Sears (Searancy?), a Union man, making prepara- 
tions to burn the house. He charged the enemy, supposing it to 
be a part of the body, but finding it to be the main command. 

There had been a heavy rain toward night the day before, 
and the guerrillas were thoroughly soaked. The morning was 
bright and warm. They had hung their blankets and other ef- 
fects on the fences to dry. When the pickets were fired on 
Quantrill called the usual command " Saddle up." The horses 
were at once equipped and hitched in a ravine back of the horse- 
lot. The men were ordered to the front and concealed behind 
the lot fence and ordered not to fire before the word was given. 



Six of Captain Kehoe's men charged down upon this position. 
"When they were within thirty yards of the gate Quantrill or- 
dered his men to fire, and the six Union soldiers fell from their 
saddles dead, and nine of those following were wounded. Quan- 
trill opened the gate to the lot at the suggestion of Gregg, and 
the horses of the dead Federals came in at full speed. The arms 
of the dead men were secured, and the guerrillas again concealed 
themselves, but no further charges were made. Some additional 
troops had joined Captain Kehoe, and fire was opened on the 
enemy at long range, killing John Hampton and wounding 
George Mattox and William Tucker. Quantrill charged the 
Union troops, killing two. After sending 
away his wounded he led his men to a 
ravine half a mile away surrounded with 
dense thickets of rough brush. The banks 
of the ravine were from five to seven 
feet high and from thirty to sixty feet 
apart. Captain Martin was the first to 
attack Quantrill at this ravine. He dis- 
mounted his men and began a charge 
when twenty of them were in line. Their 
fire was reserved until the brink of the 
ravine was reached. After delivering his 
fire he threw his men forward into the 
defile among the guerrillas, who charge 
that this was recklessness caused by the men being drunk. A 
hand-to-hand struggle, bloody and terrible, ensued. It was again 
Missourian against Missourian. ^The guerrillas were driven 
from the ravine and forced to the opposite side of the thicket. 
Major Gower had, however, sent a force to that side of the 
timber, and Quantrill and his men ran at full head against it. 
A fierce volley and charge drove them back through the weaker 
line of Captain Martin, who followed them back to the ravine 
and again renewed the hand-to-hand grapple, and the guerrillas 
were again forced out. They took a position in another branch 
of the defile in the same thicket. Here they were again attacked 
by Captain Martin, who had received some reinforcements, and 
the struggle was renewed. The guerrillas held their ground well, 


Lee McMurtry 


and Captain Martin charged them several times. Quantrill was 
wounded in the thigh. His men were without ammunition and 
had resorted to throwing stones, and he saw that he should be 
unable to remain longer in the ravine. Many of his men were 
dismounted. He ordered those having horses to mount and try 
to escape, and Gregg led them out twenty-one men. Quantrill 
led out the dismounted men, taking a direction opposite to that 
by which the horsemen departed, but still remaining in the 
timber on the rough ground. 

This battle raged an hour and a half and was the 
hardest yet fought with the guerrillas one of the hardest ever 
fought with them. The heavy foliage of the brush made it im- 
possible to see ten feet in any direction there. The cries of the 
men, the sharp and steady cracking of carbine and revolver, 
the flash of the fire in the dark woods, the fierce grapple when 
sabre-stroke was parried with clubbed gun, the shouting of the 
officers, the groans of the wounded trampled under foot as the 
battle rolled back and forth through the tangled thickets, were 
terrifying and made a scene rarely equaled in the warfare of 
the border. 3 

3 Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. XIII, pp. 154, 155. Report of Major 
James O. Gower, First Iowa Cavalry, to Colonel Fitz Henry Warren, Com- 
manding Sub-District, Butler, Bates County, Mo. Dated, Clinton, Henry 
County, Mo., July 13, 1862. 

Also, report of Captain Henry J. Stierlin, Company A, First Missouri 
Cavalry, to Brig.-Gen. James Totten, Commanding Central Division, Mis- 
souri. Dated, Warrensburg, Mo., July 12, 1862. 

Also, report of Captain William A. Martin, Company C, Seventh 
Missouri Cavalry, to Major A. H. Linder, Commanding Detachment Seventh 
Missouri Cavalry. Dated, Harrisonville, Mo., July 12, 1862. 

The Gregg Manuscript has a good account of this battle, and claims 
a loss of four dead, only. The official reports state the losses as follows: 
Union loss; eleven killed and twenty-one wounded. Guerrillas; fourteen 
known to have been killed probably eighteen killed and twenty-five to 
thirty wounded. This is the report of Major Gower. 

At the ravine Captain Martin had one killed and one wounded. He 
captured thirty horses and a large number of saddles, blankets, coats, 
guns, and other equipments. Captured the equipments, overcoat and spy- 
glasa of Quantrill. 


INDEPENDENCE was in 1862 in the military district com- 
manded by General Totten, with headquarters at Jefferson 
City. June 7, 1862, he assigned Lieutenant-Colonel James 
T. Buel to the command of the post at Independence. Buel es- 
tablished a camp about half a mile west of the public square, 
on the south side of Lexington street. The camp was in a de- 
pression or piece of low land used as a pasture; there were no 
buildings in or near it, and the troops were sheltered with tents. 

Colonel Buel had about five hundred men in his command. 
There were three companies of the Seventh Missouri Cavalry, 
commanded by Captain Breckenridge ; two companies of Neu- 
gent's Second Battalion, Missouri Provisional Militia, com- 
manded by Captain Jacob Axline and Captain Aaron Thomas; 
and a company of the Sixth Missouri Enrolled Militia, under 
command of Captain W. H. Rodewald, which was temporarily 
attached to the Seventh Missouri. Captain Jacob Axline was 
ordered to report to Colonel Buel from Kansas City, which he 
did on Sunday, August 10th. 

The disposition of the troops of the command was the worst 
that could have been made at all. Colonel Buel had his head- 
quarters in the Southern Bank building (now known as the 
McCoy Bank) on the south side of Lexington street, just off 
the southwest corner of the public square. His guards, under 
Captain Rodewald, were quartered in buildings on the opposite 
side of the street. The provost-marshal (acting) was Lieutenant 
Charles W. Meryhew, of the Seventh Missouri. He was stationed 
at the county jail, on North Main street, one block from the 
public square. The three companies of the Seventh Missouri 
and the two companies of Neugent's Battalion were camped in 
the pasture a full half mile from headquarters, with no means 


of maintaining communication with the commander in case of 
an attack. This proved to be the fatal defect of position when the 
battle came to be fought. 

When Quantrill and his men fled from the battlefield at 
the ravines they went to the head waters of the Little Blue. 
Quantrill was hidden away nursing his wound and a case of 
erysipelas which it brought on. Most of his men had returned 
and were aiding Colonel Hays to recruit his regiment. 

After the battle of Pea Ridge the Missouri State Guard was 
reorganized, and that part which entered the Confederate ser- 
vice was sent east of the Mississippi. Those who did not enter 
that service straggled back to Missouri during the summer and 
became guerrillas. It was to gather up and enlist these stragglers, 
or some of them, that Upton Hays had returned to Missouri. 
After he left Quantrill in Henry county he went directly to Jack- 
son county and began to recruit his regiment, in which work he 
did not have the success he desired, having secured only about 
three hundred men prior to the battle of Independence. 

About the first of August, 1862, Colonel John T. Hughes 
arrived in Jackson county from Arkansas. He had with him 
about seventy-five men. It was his design to recruit a brigade 
for the Confederate army, and he had been commissioned a 
brigadier-general. Hughes was a good soldier. He at once 
thoroughly informed himself of the disposition of the Federal 
forces in Western Missouri. He intended to recruit his brigade 
in the country north of the Missouri river, and he did not believe 
he could get it out after he had enlisted it with Buel in possession 
of Independence. And he believed the men of that section would 
be of that opinion, which would make it difficult to induce them 
to enlist. He decided to stop for a time in Jackson county, and 
went into camp at the Charles Cowherd farm near Lee's Sum- 
mit. There he raised a Confederate flag on a tall pole and es- 
tablished a recruiting station. This flag could be seen from the 
court-house at Independence. Colonel Hughes intended to at- 
tack Colonel Buel and capture him or drive him from Inde- 
pendence as soon as he could muster enough men to do it. That 
was a part of his plan for raising and taking out his brigade. 



If he could go into North Missouri after a brilliant victory at 
Independence he could quickly raise the forces he desired and 
could get them out before troops could assemble to prevent it. 
It was in this condition and from this necessity confronting 
Colonel Hughes that the battle of Independence originated. 

When Colonel Hughes found it difficult to secure recruits 
in Jackson county and that he would not be able to attack 
Colonel Buel for a long time, he decided to ask Colonel Hays 
and Quantrill to aid him. Hays and Quantrill must have been 
camped in the vicinity of Blue Springs, and some of their bands 
were probably on the Sni. Hays gathered his men, about three 
hundred, and marched to join Hughes. This was on Sunday, 
the 10th of August, 1862. A Mrs. "Wilson saw them march past 
her house, about three miles north of Blue Springs, at ten 
o'clock that night. She was a loyal woman, and she immediately 
mounted a horse and rode to Independ- 
ence. She reported to Colonel Buel, and 
in the presence of Captain Rodewald, that 
she had seen these men march by her 
house and had heard they were to attack 
Independence that night. She supposed 
there were a thousand of them. And she 
had heard of another body of men, on the 
Sni, perhaps Quantrill 's, who would 
march against Independence that night, 
also. Buel treated Mrs. Wilson rudely, 
and the information which she had been 
at such pains to bring him he treated with 
contempt. Even after Colonel Samuel D. 
Lucas had vouched for the honesty and general good character 
of Mrs. Wilson he refused to credit the information she gave and 
declared that he knew how to take care of himself and wished 
that people would stop bringing in such reports. It was gen- 
erally known in Independence on Sunday that the town would 
be attacked on Monday morning. Indeed it had been known 
before that, and some people had gone to Kansas City almost a 
week before the battle came, to be out of it. Buel took no pre- 
cautions for the defense of the town, left his forces scattered 

Colonel Upton Hay* 


about and officers away from their commands, and he snored in 
stupid (imagined) security at his headquarters. 1 

It is said that Colonel Buel intended to attack the camp of 
Hughes on Monday, and that on Sunday he searched Independ- 
ence and seized all arms and ammunition found. That no prep- 
aration of his forces for such an attack appears would indicate 
that he had abandoned that design. 

The attack on Independence was planned by Colonel Hughes 
and the battle was fought on plans laid out by him. Until his 
death he was in command. Hays had about three hundred men, 
Hughes one hundred, and Quantrill about twenty-five. Colonel 
Gid. W. Thompson was one of the officers, but he had no troops 
of his own to command. In assigning the officers their parts 
Colonel Hughes gave Quantrill two things to do one, to cut 
off Buel from his men ; the other, to picket the town after it was 
taken. He said to Quantrill: "You will be well supported. In 
fact, I shall be right behind you when you enter the public 
square." 2 

i The incident of Mrs. Wilson 'B ride to try to save the Union troops 
is found in The Civil War on the Border, Vol. I, p. 316. This work is by 
Wiley Britton, who was a Union soldier, and it is one of the best authorities 
ever written on the Civil War. Mr. Britton gives a splendid account of the 
battle of Independence and the preliminary movements of the troops. 

a Morgan T. Mattox, one of Quantrill 's men, gave the author the 
following concerning the battle of Independence: 

On the Saturday before the battle of Independence Mattox was sent 
to the town as a spy. He carried a supply of onions and pies which he 
sold to Buel's men. He observed the whole situation and returned to 
Quantrill. On his way out he went to the place at which he had left the 
command, but it was gone. He soon met Arch Rockwell who took him to 
Quantrill, to whom he reported. Quantrill had gone to the camp of Hays 
and Hughes on Saturday night. 

To reach Independence all the forces went by the Spring Branch 
Road. They found the Federal pickets at Mr. Burford's gate, about one 
hundred and fifty yards east of the Spring at the east edge of Indepen- 
dence. The Quantrill men ran on the pickets and shot them down. Then 
Quantrill rushed his men to the square. 

Colonel Hughes was right behind Quantrill and he did not stop in 
the town, but rushed on to the camp of the Federals west of town. He 
was killed at the gate of the field in which the Federals were camped. 
Kit Chiles was killed right at the bank. 

Before this battle Jim Knowles, of Independence, had piloted Buel 
into the Blue Cut neighborhood. At the Blue Cut, Buel met George Todd, 
Ed Koger, and John Little, and killed Roger and Little. Todd got away. 
This gave the Quantrill men a grudge against Knowles, who was City 


It was the plan of Colonel Hughes to get into the town and 
take possession of it, with the main part of his force between 
Buel and his men, without firing a gun or raising an alarm. 
Quantrill entered the town by Spring street, the pickets east of 
the town on the Spring Branch road being found dead the next 
day. He entered the public square and waited for Hughes, who 
entered with the main body, on the Lexington road, just a 
minute later. Hughes dismounted a part of his force and the 
horses were hitched about the public square. Quantrill then 
formed his men into platoons and rode out of the public square 
west on Lexington street at a sharp gait, closely followed by 
Hughes and the main force. It was half past four o'clock and 
not yet daylight. The guard at Captain Rodewald's quarters 
commanded a halt and fired his gun to alarm his comrades. He 
rushed into the guard-room and found the men there gettting to 
arms. The street was soon filled with Confederate soldiers. A 
few shots were fired into them from a second-story window, 
when some one there cried out: "For God's sake don't fire; it's 
your own men." Believing this and not being able to see in 
the darkness, Captain Rodewald led his men down stairs and 
out into the street, where he saw a Confederate soldier well 
known to him, whom he took prisoner. He called to his men that 
the force in the street were rebels, and ordered them to form into 
line, which they did, cutting off some of the moving column of 
Confederates. He ordered his men to fire into the receding 
ranks, the rear of which was yet in range, and they did so, kill- 
ing Colonel Kit Chiles. Captain Rodewald retained his position 
an hour and a half, repulsing three attacks of the enemy, two 
from the public square and one from the west. In the last he 
mortally wounded Major Hart and captured a lieutenant and 
eleven privates. 

Marshal of Independence. One day he killed an old Irishman who was 
drunk and "cutting up" a little. For this he was put in jail, and was 
in jail when the battle was fought. 

Bill Bassham had been a stage driver on the Old Santa Fe Trail, bat 
had quit and come home to Independence about the time Knowles killed the 
Irishman. He had not been connected with the war in any way at that 
time, but some one preferred the charge that he was a Quantrill man, 
and he was locked up in jail. 

Quantrill 's men broke into the jail and released Bassham, who then 
and there joined them. George Todd then shot and killed Jim Knowles. 


Colonel Buel did not leave his headquarters and put himself 
at the head of Captain Rodewald's men and make an effort to 
reach his main camp as a brave and capable officer would have 
done. He ordered them to leave the street, where they were 
fighting bravely and maintaining themselves well, and come into 
his headquarters, the most stupid action he could have taken. 
The enemy surrounded him at once, and Quantrill was sent into 
a store-building on the opposite side of the street, the second 
story of which commanded the front windows of Buel's rooms in 
the bank building. He poured in a perfect hail of shot until 
after nine o'clock, when Buel surrendered. 

Colonel Buel did nothing to save the day. He did not hoist 
his flag until a few minutes before he surrendered. In fact, 
the flag was not at his headquarters but at Captain Rodewald's 
quarters. It was brought over by a bugler, a barefooted boy of 
sixteen, who volunteered to fetch it. He crossed the street, 
secured the flag, and re-crossed the street through showers of 
balls fired at him, and came off unhurt. There was not even a 
flag-staff, and two of Captain Rodewald's men who were sent up 
to fasten it to the chimney were instantly killed on the roof by 
Quantrill 's men. Then the Confederate lieutenant and one of 
his men, captured in the last charge of Captain Rodewald, were 
required to fasten the flag to the chimney, and by going on the 
roof and making themselves known were allowed by Quantrill 
to do so. 

The troops at the camp and at the jail had been obliged to 
rely upon themselves. Lieutenant Meryhew, at the jail, fired 
one volley and then abandoned his post and fled through the 
woods to Kansas City, where he arrived with fourteen men late 
in the afternoon. 3 

The real fighting of the day was done by Captain Axline 
and the men he was able to rally around him. The Confederates 
struck the camp just at daylight. There seems to have been no 

3 By some it is claimed that the volley fired from the jail wounded 
Major Hart. The author has followed Britton, who says Hart was wound- 
ed in the last charge upon Captain Rodewald. Webb, in Battles and Bio- 
graphies of Missourians, has a good description of the battle of Indepen- 


guards or pickets on duty anywhere. The Confederates fired 
a deliberate volley from a line not a hundred feet from the -ents 
in which the Union soldiers were sleeping. This fire killed 
many. Those uninjured rushed to arms. The sudden attack 
and surprise either frightened Captain Breckenridge or else 
the charge that he had conspired to surrender the men into the 
hands of the enemy was true. Immediately after the first fire 
he called out in a loud voice: "Boys, we are completely sur- 
rounded, and we had better surrender." His call to surrender 
was the first order heard by the troops from any officer. It was 
successfully offset by Captain Axline, who cried in a voice heard 
above the roar of battle: "Boys, get your guns and ammuni- 
tion and rally behind the rock-fence." This was a stone wall or 
fence half a mile long, running east and west along the south 
side of the camp. As the men emerged from their tents they 
fired with spirit, and, directing their fire to the east and south- 
east, they were able to check the enemy long enough to gain 
the wall. Many of them, in retreating, were pushed west beyond 
the wall, and they retreated out of range. Some of them did 
not stop until they reached Kansas City. Their retreat would 
have been disastrous had it been followed up, and they escaped, 
possibly, only because after the first volley many of the Con- 
federates ceased fighting and began to plunder the abandoned 
tents of the Union troops. 

Captain Axline was exposed to a heavy fire from front and 
rear, some of the Confederates being far enough south to enfilade 
the south side of the wall. He retreated along the wall until he 
came to a gully three or four feet deep which it crossed. Here 
he made a stand, and he could not be driven out. In a charge 
upon the right of Captain Axline 's position here, in an attempt 
to flank it, Colonel John T. Hughes was shot in the forehead and 
instantly killed. 

Lieutenant Herrington, of the Missouri State Militia, soon 
came to the aid of Captain Axline, who was then able to cover 
three-fourths of the camp with his fire. His position was 
impregnable, and but for the cowardice of Captain Brecken- 
ridge he would have held out and saved the day. Shortly after 
getting into his favorable position and as his men were beginning 


to have confidence in their ability to hold the field, some one 
called attention to a white flag hoisted on the wall to the west. 
Axline directed Lieutenant Herrington to see what the flag 
meant, while he went himself to gather up the many stragglers 
he saw in that direction, leaving Sergeant Blake in command of 
the firing-line. He met Captain Breckenridge with a white flag 
tied to a ramrod, who asked if he should hoist it and was told 
"certainly not," and that "he put it up at his peril." 

Captain Axline discovered that there were a number of men 
half a mile west, collected in a house, and he sent Lieutenant 
Herrington to take them and charge up the street on the north 
of the camp and clear it of the enemy, which was successfully 
done. Twenty nen were sent in charge of a sergeant to clear 
the ground and corn-patches in front and to the south, which 
was quickly done. Captain Axline then returned to his main 
position, which was bravely held by Blake, who had been severely 
wounded in the foot. Two thousand rounds of ammunition were 
served to the men and preparations made to move forward to 
the public square in three detachments, a movement which would 
have been successfully carried out and snatched victory from 
defeat had not messengers arrived from Colonel Buel with a 
white flag and orders to surrender. Axline was not in favor 
of complying with this order, but Captain Breckenridge and 
Adjutant Preble urged him to do so. He consented with much 
reluctance, though at the time he had but seventy-five men. The 
real hero of the battle of Independence was Captain Jacob 
Axline, able, brave, self-reliant, patriotic. 

After the death of Colonel Hughes, Colonel Thompson took 
command of the Confederate forces. He also made a charge 
on the Federal right, but was repulsed, as Colonel Hughes had 
been, and was severely wounded in one of his legs. Hays then 
took command, but prudently avoided a grapple with Axline, 
and contented himself with sharp-shooting from protected places. 
He was soon wounded in the foot. 

Colonel Buel insisted, as one of the conditions of surrender, 
that none of his men should be murdered by Quantrill or his 
men after they became prisoners, and this provision was enforced 


by Colonel Thompson, who, though suffering from his wound, 
paroled the prisoners after the battle was over. 

The Federal loss was twenty-six killed and seventy-four 
wounded ; eleven of the wounded died. About one hundred and 
fifty surrendered. The Confederates left on the field twenty- 
three dead men, of whom ten were officers. They also left nine 
men mortally wounded. Many wounded had been sent to their 
homes in the neighborhood, as were some of the dead. The rage 
of the Confederates against the Germans was vented upon Cap- 
tain Thomas. He was killed in his room, his body horribly 
mangled and kicked down stairs.^ 

The victory at Independence was not worth what it cost the 
Confederates. They secured enough arms and ammunition to 
arm the slim regiment of Hays, and they carried away camp- 
plunder to the amount of twenty or more wagon-loads, after 
burning much and allowing Quantrill to hide a quantity which 
he could not take with him at the time. But their ablest officer, 
one of the ablest in Missouri, was killed, and most other officers 
either killed or wounded. They marched out of Independence 
towards the camp of Hays, in the direction of Blue Springs, 
about five o'clock in the afternoon, scattered and disappeared. 

Buel and his men, paroled, were left at Independence, where 
they remained a few days, when they marched to Kansas City, 
and later were sent to St. Louis and quartered in Benton Bar- 
racks. They were mustered out of the service. Buel and Breck- 
enridge were both tried for conspiracy and cowardice, but as 
they were to be mustered out at once no strenuous efforts were 
made to convict them and they escaped justice. 

Quantrill and his men claimed credit for the victory, and 
there is merit in this claim. They made the attack on the bank 
building so fierce and effective that Buel surrendered. The 
entry of the Confederate army into the town without causing 
an alarm was due to their familiarity with the country, the town, 
the disposition of the Federal troops and, not least, the deaths 

4 Leaven worth Conservative, August 13, 1862. Files in library of 
the Kansas State Historical Society. Britton says Captain Thomas was 
killed while endeavoring to reach the camp from a hotel, and says nothing 
of mutilation. 


of the outlying pickets. They were active in all parts of the 
battle. Captain Gregg broke down the doors of the jail and 
released Southern sympathizers imprisoned there. James 
Knowles, charged with killing a Southern man, was shot in his 

s Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. XIII, pp. 226, 227, show the official 
report! of Colonel Buel and Captain Axline. 



FROM the victorious field of Independence Quantrill moved 
his men to the Morgan Walker farm, where he remained 
until late in the day of the 12th of August. Then he 
marched to the Ingraham farm, six miles west of Lone Jack. 
There the fourth day after the battle of Independence, he and 
his men were regularly mustered into the Confederate service. 

From the fifteenth day of August, 1862, the Confederate 
government was responsible for all the acts of Quantrill and his 
men. From that day they were regular Confederate soldiers, 
properly enrolled, with officers regularly 
commissioned. Quantrill was commis- 
sioned captain. One hundred and fifty 
men were mustered under him. A mili- 
tary organization was effected, as fol- 

Captain, William Clarke Quantrill. 

First Lieutenant, William Hallar. 

Second Lieutenant, George Todd. 

Third Lieutenant, William H. Gregg. 

On the morning of the 16th of Aug- 
ust Quantrill took ninety of his men to 
Independence to carry out camp-plunder 
stored there by him after the battle was 
over. He thus avoided the battle of Lone Jack, which was 
fought on that day. It has been charged that he was not pleased 
with the presence of the larger lights and greater personages 
of the Confederacy then, appearing in Jackson county, and that 
he purposely absented himself that day to avoid helping them 
win a victory. He left sixty of his men in camp at the Adams 
farm with peremptory orders to fiallar, whom he left in com- 
mand, not to move under any circumstances without orders from 

Arch Clements 


him, unless attacked and driven away by the enemy. He knew 
the enemy was in the vicinity. He had decided to let these 
"big guns" fight their own battle. He resented their invasion 
of his territory. They brought soldierly rules and permitted no 
murder of prisoners. He made war in no such feminine fashion. 
If mawkish sentiment was to prevail upon the gory field he would 
be absent and employ himself in lugging off the loot of a former 

Quantrill must have started early to Independence, for at 
eight o'clock a messenger from Hays arrived at the Adams farm 
with a dispatch requesting his aid. Hallar refused to go. Late 
in the afternoon another arrived with a more urgent message. 
Gregg persuaded Hallar to heed this request, though he knew 
it was in disobedience to express orders. The men were mounted 
and put upon the road, going in on the dead run. But the battle 
was over. They gathered in the straggling fugitives found try- 
ing to escape to the number of one hundred and fifty. 

After the battle of Lone Jack, Quantrill established a camp 
three miles east of Lee's Summit on the east branch of the Little 
Blue. Colonel Hays lingered in Jackson county some ten days 
after the battle of Lone Jack. When he was ready to leave 
for Arkansas he turned over to Quantrill, Lieutenant Copeland, 
of Neugent's regiment, whom he had captured at the battle 
of Lone Jack. He knew that Quantrill would have him shot, 
and turned him over for that reason. The execution of Copeland 
is thus described in the Gregg Manuscript: 

On the evening of August 28, 1862, Charles Cowherd and 
William Howard came to our camp, bringing with them a copy 
of the Missouri Republican. Quantrill was seated by a table 
reading this paper. Gregg was sitting by the table waiting to 
see the paper. Suddenly I saw a change come over Quan trill's 
countenance; he dropped the paper and drew a blank-book and 
pencil from his pocket. He wrote a note and handed it to Gregg, 
telling him to give it to Blunt. Being anxious to know what 
was up, I opened the note and read : 

"Take Lieutenant Copeland out and shoot him. Go to 
Woodsmall's camp, get two prisoners from his camp, shoot them, 
and return as quickly as possible." 

Perry Hoy, who, it will be remembered, was captured from 
our command at the Tate House, and for whom we had tried 


to exchange the Kansas Lieutenant, had been shot at Fort Leav- 
enworth. "When Blunt returned from the execution of the pris- 
oners we were ordered to saddle up and prepare to move. On 
inquiry I learned from Quantrill that he was going to Kansas 
to kill ten men for Perry Hoy. We moved to the vicinity of 
Red Bridge, near the Kansas line, where we remained until the 
next afternoon, when we marched on Olathe, the county-seat of 
Johnson County, Kansas. However, before we reached Olathe 
we had killed ten men, most of whom were known to our men. 
But we had started to take the town and persisted in that pur- 
pose. When we arrived near the place, Quantrill ordered Lieu- 
tenant Gregg to advance with sixty men and throw a cordon 
about the town that no one might escape, which was accom- 
plished. Quantrill with the remaining men marched to the cen- 
ter of the town. On their arrival at Court Square they found 
one hundred and twenty-five Federal soldiers drawn up on the 
sidewalk on the south side of the square. It was determined to 
capture these men without bloodshed. Quantrill ordered his men 
to hitch their horses to the courtyard fence in close order, and 
when this was done, to form in the rear of the horses. This com- 
pleted, they drew their revolvers and ordered the Federals to 
surrender, which they did without firing a shot. One man 
refused to give up his gun and was shot and killed. So, we had 
killed fourteen men for Perry Hoy! 

We remained in Olathe until morning, when we marched our 
prisoners out on the prairie about two miles from town, paroled 
them, and turned them loose. . 

It will be seen from this account that the raid on Olathe was 
for the purpose of avenging the execution of Perry Hoy. But 
Captain Gregg has the date wrong. The guerrillas entered the 
town the afternoon of the 6th of September and remained until 
the 7th. 1 They numbered one hundred and forty men. Frank 
Cook, John J. Judy, and his brother, James B. Judy, all of whom 
had enlisted in the Twelfth Kansas a short time before, were 
killed just before the town was entered. Hiram Blanchard, of 
Spring Hill, was in Olathe at the time ; he protested against the 
action of the guerrillas in stealing his horse and tried to prevent 

i Andreas'* History of Kansas gives the date as the 6th. Wilder 'a 
Annals of Kansas fixes the date on the 7th. Both are right, as Quantrill 
was there both days came in on the 6th and left on the 7th. 


it, and was shot and killed. Josiah Skinner and Phillip Wiggins 
were both shot and killed ; they were citizens and not soldiers. 2 

Quantrill was very proud of his official position with the 
Confederate government. He carried with him his commission 
as captain in the Confederate service, and he exhibited it to those 
he wished to impress with the dignity of his office and his impor- 
tance and standing. While walking about the public square, 
reviewing the citizens of the town, all of whom were bunched 
there and held under guard, he recognized Judge E. W. Robin- 
son, then and now a citizen of Paola. He called Robinson out 
to the fence, which surrounded the square, and upon which they 
seated themselves and talked for more than an hour. Quantrill 
repudiated the familiar name of "Bill" by which he was known 
in Paola and requested Robinson to address him as "Captain 
Quantrill, ' ' producing at the same time his commission as captain 
for the judge's inspection.3 

Quantrill robbed stores and dwellings. All the people were 
plundered. Horses and wagons were stolen and loaded with loot 
from the sacked town. On the 7th of September Quantrill 

2 In Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. XIII, p. 803, will be found the 
letter of Dr. Thomas Hamil, dated Leavenworth City, November 6, 1862, 
to Major General Curtis, a portion of which is here set out: 

I have been living in Johnson County, Kansas, for four years. I 
was in Olathe when Quantrill came there; he took everything of wearing 
apparel and all the horses that he could get; he took all of my clothes, 
a good horse, and a fine gold watch; but we did not care for being robbed, 
if he had not killed our citizens in cold blood, taking our best citizens 
from the bosom of their families and shooting them down like so many 
hogs. It is horrible to relate. . . . Nearly all the families have left 
between us and the line. 

3 Letter of E. W. Robinson to W. W. Scott, dated, Paola, Kansas, 
May 9, 1881, now in the Collection of the author. Robinson was probate 
judge of Miami county when the letter was written. This letter has been 
quoted from, ante, in relation to the Morgan Walker raid. Concerning 
his capture at Olathe, Judge Robinson says: 

I saw no more of him until September, 1862 when he sacked 
Olathe. He had with him at that time 220 men. Quantrill recognized me 
among the prisoners, invited me outside the corral, to a seat beside him 
surrounding the public square, where we talked for more than an hour. 
During the conversation I addressed him once as "Bill" he very politely 
requested me to address him as ' ' Captain Quantrill, ' ' and took from his 
pocket and showed me what he claimed was a commission from the Con- 
federate Government, but I did not read it, being an old acquaintance, 
and having no grudge against me, he treated me kindly. Not more than 
a dozen persons were killed on this raid, the object being plunder. 


marched his prisoners out of the town and paroled them. Then 
he took his way over the prairies back to Missouri, his band bur- 
dened to its full capacity and staggering under the spoil of Kan- 
sas citizens. 

From Olathe Quantrill went to Johnson county, Mo. Col- 
onel John T. Burris was sent to capture him or disperse his com- 
mand. He found the guerrillas near Columbus, Johnson county. 
They were driven to Lafayette county, where they camped on 
the farm of Harvey Gleaves. A party was sent out on the Texas 
prairie to gather provisions. This party was fallen upon by a 
squad of militia from Lexington and narrowly escaped capture. 
Hastening to camp and securing reinforcements the guerrillas 
followed the militia, coming up with them at Wellington, driving 
them from the town to the bridge over the Sni, where a stand was 
made. The guerrillas charged across the bridge and scattered 
the militia, killing some of them, and having one man, Lieutenant 
Ferd Scott, wounded in the side. The guerrillas returned to 
their camp and the whole command marched to the village of 
Mecklin, where supper was had. Colonel Burris was in close pur- 
suit. The guerrillas camped three miles north of Mecklin, moved 
at daylight to Bone Hill, where they were discovered at breakfast 
and routed. Colonel Burris followed them all day, and at four 
o'clock in the afternoon came up with them on the high prairie 
four miles north of Pleasant Hill. There they were defeated in 
a short sharp battle and lost some killed and wounded, among 
the former, Young Simmons, of Westport. They fled to the 
timber and scattered-, preventing further pursuit. 

The guerrillas assembled again in a week. Colonel Penick, 
then in command at Independence, sent Captain David with his 
company to look for them. David camped at the Morgan Walker 
farm the night of the 5th of October, and on the 6th he discov- 
ered Quan trill's camp between Sibley and Big Hill about a 
mile from Sibley. Quantrill broke camp and moved along the 
Lexington and Independence road to the Garrison farm where 
the Sibley road came in. There an ambush was prepared for 
Captain David, and Colonel Dick Chiles was put in command 
of it. Captain David found this ambush in an old log house at a 
sharp turn in the road. The house was surrounded by a high 



rail fence enclosing a patch of half an acre. In the first charge 
of Captain David, Colonel Chiles was shot through the lungs, 
dying from that wound soon after the war closed. Another 
guerrilla was wounded. Quantrill had not wished to trust 
Chiles, but had been induced to do so by Gregg and Todd. See- 
ing that the fight was lost, Quantrill retreated to the brush. Cap- 
tain David lost one man killed, one mortally wounded, and one 
slightly wounded. 

The following day Captain David continued the pursuit of 
Quantrill, and at night the guerrillas scattered to avoid being 
chased longer, having scattered and assembled a number of times 
during the day .4 

Quantrill soon planned another raid into Kansas and 
selected Shawneetown, a village in Johnson county, near the Mis- 
souri line, and doomed it to the torch. He reached the town on 
the 17th of October. Just before he arrived at the town he came 
upon a wagon-train passing over the Santa Fe Trail, guarded by 
an infantry escort. This escort had stopped to rest. Most of 
the men were asleep. No guard had been posted. The guer- 
rillas pounced upon this somnolent escort and slew one-half of 
it about fifteen men and scattered the remainder. This 
whetted their appetites for blood, and the guerrillas dashed into 
Shawneetown and murdered seven citizens there. The brand was 
applied and the village reduced to ashes. A Mr. Stiles and a 
Mr. Becker were killed in the town, and James Warfield, a Shaw- 
nee Indian, and three others were chased out and killed in the 
fields and highways. The stores were robbed, and horses and 
household goods were taken back to Missouri.s 

4 Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. XIII, p. 312. Beport of Captain 
Daniel H. David, Fifth Missouri Cavalry (Militia) to Colonel W. K. Pen- 
ick. Dated, Independence, Mo., October 8, 1862. 

s Still the excuse for sacking Lawrence was that Kansas troops robbed 
the citizens of Missouri and killed them! Fourteen men are admitted to 
have been killed by Quantrill in the Olathe raid; perhaps many more were 
killed. Seven citizens were killed in the Shawneetown raid twenty-one 
Kansas citizens killed on Kansas soil minding their own affairs. And this 
in a little more than two months. And two towns sacked, one of them 
destroyed by the torch! And hundreds of Missouri citizens in Missouri 
in the same time butchered in their own homes! How preposterous the 


The leaves were down, the trees were stripped, the thickets 
on the Sni, the Little Blue, and the Grand were bare. All the 
hiding-places were uncovered, and the disloyal element in Mis- 
souri began to move and show signs of uneasiness. The guen 
rillas and their abettors ran together in bunches and skulked 
in heavily timbered bottoms and along naked hillsides. 
Thoughts of security inside the Confederate lines in Arkansas 
filled their minds. A rendezvous was fixed by Quantrill on Big 
Creek, Cass county, near the field where Captain Martin had 
beset the guerrillas and smote them so sorely. The location of 
this camp was sent broadcast, and it was noised abroad that all 
who wished to go inside the Confederate lines would be welcomed 
and carried there in safety. Many responded. 

The march south was commenced on the 3d day of Novem- 
ber. Quantrill had one hundred and fifty guerrillas, and many 
fugitives. Cole Younger, Joe Lea, and Dick Yager each remained 
in Missouri with a small squad. Hallar had left Quantrill 
because of a disagreement with Todd and had gone into a squad 
commanded by one Harrison, whose men went south with Quan- 

On the day that Quantrill began his march south Colonel 
Edwin C. Catherwood, Sixth Missouri Cavalry, started a train 
of thirteen empty wagons back from Harrisonville to Sedalia, 
with an escort of twenty-one men commanded by Lieutenant W. 
M. Newby, Company G-, Sixth Missouri. About four o'clock in 
the afternoon Lieutenant Demuel Campbell reported that he had 
seen Quantrill 's command marching down the divide between 

excuses that have been made for the actions of Quantrill! The falsity 
and hypocrisy of these excuses have been shown to this point. The excuses 
for the actions following will be shown to have been more ridiculous. 

William Laurie was captured by the guerrillas in this raid. In Kan- 
gas City he had refused to aid in the hoisting of rebel flags and was 
threatened with death. Fearing to remain in Kansas City, he moved to 
Shawneetown and engaged in photography. When the guerrillas entered 
the town his partner was shot, but not killed, and he was captured and 
stripped of his clothing except his underwear. He was put to loading a 
wagon which the guerrillas took back to Missouri. After dark a lamp 
was furnished him to work by, and when the wind blew it out he ran into 
a field and escaped. He and his brother were murdered by the guerrillas 
at Lawrence. 


Harrisonville and Rose Hill. This made Colonel Catherwood 
apprehensive for the safety of his train, and he took one hun- 
dred and fifty men and started out to protect it. But he was 
too late. Gregg had been given forty men and ordered to attack 
the train, which he did, capturing it and scattering the escort, 
killing four soldiers and six teamsters, and wounding two sol- 
diers and one teamster. Lieutenant Newby was captured, also 
some privates. At the first sight of the guerrillas he had cor- 
ralled his wagons and made an effort to get his men inside, but 
the guerrillas were down upon him before this could be done. 
The night came on cloudy and dark, but Colonel Catherwood 
pursued the enemy, coming upon him in camp two miles south 
of the battlefield. He attacked the guerrillas and recovered Lieu- 
tenant Newby and one private, killing six and wounding twenty- 
one of the enemy. 6 

Quantrill met Colonel Warner Lewis a short distance north 
of Lamar. Lewis had three hundred men. He induced Quan- 
trill to undertake the capture of the Union garrison at Lamar. 
Quantrill, when told that the Union troops were quartered in 
the court-house, a brick building, was not sanguine of success. 
The attack was to be made at ten o 'clock at night, and Quantrill 
was to come in from the south, while Lewis was to enter the town 
from the north. Quantrill was on time and drove in the pickets. 
Lewis did not make his appearance at all, but Quantrill attacked 
the force in the court-house and fought there two hours, accom- 
plishing nothing, but losing two men killed, Peter Burton and 
James Donohoe. He burned a portion of the town, the fire 
destroying the court-house. The attack was on the night of the 
5th of November 1862.7 

6 Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. XIII, p. 347. Report of Colonel 
Edwin C. Catherwood, Sixth Missouri Cavalry (Militia) to Brig.-Gen. Ben. 
Loan, Commanding Central District of Missouri. Dated, Harrisonville, 
Mo., November 5, 1862. 

7 Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. XIII, p. 796. Eeport of Brig.-Gen, 
E. B. Brown to Brig.-Gen. John M. Sehofield, Commanding Army of the 
Frontier. Dated, Springfield, Mo., November 16, 1862. 

Also, Eeport of Major Benjamin S. Henry, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, 
to Brig.-Gen. James G. Blunt. Dated, Port Scott, Kansas, November 11, 


"When Quantrill drew off his men at Lamar he continued 
on his way to the southward, causing some alarms by the way. 
He went to Fort Smith, passing down the old Fort Scott and 
Fort Gibson road. Upon his arrival in the Confederate linei 
his band was attached to the command of General Shelby. 



WHILE Quan trill's company was attached to the com- 
mand of General J. 0. Shelby when it reached the 
Confederate lines in Arkansas, Quantrill himself did 
not remain with it. Gregg was then his first lieutenant, and 
Quantrill turned the company over to him, and set out for Rich- 
mond, Virginia, to secure permission to enlist a regiment under 
the Confederate Partisan Eanger Act. It was his ambition to 
be the colonel of a regiment. For this strange being, this myste- 
rious person who was not surfeited with the stream of blood he 
had caused to flow in Kansas and Missouri since the year 1859, 
had ambition to rise in the Confederate world. And we shall 
see that he had marked out bloody lines along which he hoped 
to advance along which he had dreamed he might even lead 
the Confederacy. If he was not blood-mad, insane, he was a 
monster, the most gory, blood-thirsty and horrible character in 
American history. And the actions of his whole life would indi- 
cate that he was degenerate and depraved rather than insane 
that he loved to kill delighted in murder and rapine. 

Quantrill must have departed from Richmond very soon after 
reaching the Confederate lines, for General Shelby began his 
invasion of Missouri before the end of November, and the guer- 
rilla command took part in all the battles of that campaign, 
beginning with Cane Hill, which was fought on the 28th of 
November. Quantrill took with him Blunt and Higbee. He 
accomplished little at Richmond. His program for conducting 
the course of the Confederacy did not favorably appeal to the 
War Office. To his surprise and chagrin his plan for a general 
massacre and the hoisting of the black flag by the Confederacy 
was rejected. It is said by some that he received no commission, 
and by others that he did receive one. It is known that he 
insisted that he was a colonel, and that he secured a Confed- 


erate colonel's uniform and had himself photographed with it 
on. And he signed the official report of the Baxter Springs mas- 
sacre as "Colonel." It is very probable that he was given the 
commission he sought and sent back to Missouri with a promotion 
as to rank but the refusal of permission to recruit himself a regi- 
ment. But there is nothing certainly known on this subject. 1 

i All that we know of what passed between Quantrill and the officials 
of the Confederacy is contained in the statement of General Louis T. 
Wigfall, then a Senator from Texas, who was present when Quantrill 
presented his plan. The only account of this interview seen by the 
author is that given by Major Edwards. It is embellished by him, no 
doubt, and is embodied in his florid rhetoric, and it is given here for what 
it may prove to be worth: 

His interview at Bichmond with the Confederate Secretary of War 
was a memorable one. Gen. Louis T. Wigfall, then a Senator from 
Texas, was present and described it afterwards in his rapid, vivid, pictur- 
esque way. Quantrell asked to be commissioned as a Colonel under the 
Partisan Eanger Act, and to be so recognized by the Department as to 
have accorded to him whatever protection the Confederate government 
might be in a condition to exercise. Never mind the question of men, he 
would have the complement required in a month after he reached Western 
Missouri. The warfare was desperate, he knew, the service desperate, 
everything connected with it was desperate; but the Southern people to 
succeed h*"! to fight a desperate fight. The Secretary suggested that war 
had its amenities and its refinements, and that in the nineteenth century 
it was simple barbarism to talk of a black flag. 

' ' Barbarism I ' ' and Quantrell 's blue eyes blazed, and his whole 
manner and attitude underwent a transformation, "barbarism, Mr. Secre- 
tary, means war and war means barbarism. Since you have touched upon 
this subject, let us discuss it a little. Times have their crimes as well as 
men. For twenty years this cloud has been gathering; for twenty years 
inch by inch and little by little those people called the Abolitionists have 
been on the track of slavery; for twenty years the people of the South 
have been robbed, here of a negro and there of a negro [many of these 
negroes stolen from the South by Quantrill W. E. C.] ; for twenty years 
hates have been engendered and wrathful things laid up against the day 
of wrath. The cloud has burst. Do not condemn the thunderbolt." 

The War Secretary bowed his head. Quantrell, leaving his own seat, 
and standing over him as it were and above him, went on. 

"Who are these people you call Confederates? Eebels, unless they 
succeed, outcasts, trJ*ors, food for hemp and gunpowder. There were no 
great statesmen in the South, or this war would have happened ten years 
ago; no inspired men, or it would have happened fifteen years ago. Today 
the odds are desperate. The world hates slavery; the world is fighting you. 
The ocean belongs to the Union navy. There is a recruiting officer in every 
foreign port. I have captured and killed many who did not know the 
English tongue. Mile by mile the cordon is being drawn about the 
granaries of the South, Missouri will go first, next Kentucky, next Tennes- 
see, by and by Mississippi and Arkansas, and then what? That we must 


Quantrill's men, or a part of them, were in the campaigns in 
Northwestern Arkansas and Southwestern Missouri during the 
winter of 1862-63. They were in the battles of Cane Hill, 
Prairie Grove, Springfield, and Hartville. Todd, however, was 
not pleased with regular warfare. He deserted two hours before 
the battle of Cane Hill began, and, with seven other desperate 
guerrillas, returned to Missouri. A fair field and honorable bat- 
tle did not suit him. The opportunities for murder and plunder 
were not sufficient to attract him. And we shall see that Todd 

put gloves on our hands, and honey in our mouths, and fight this war as 
Christ fought the wickedness of the world?" 

The War Secretary did not speak. Quantrell, perhaps, did not desire 
that he should. "You ask an impossible thing, Mr. Secretary. This 
secession, or revolution, or whatever you call it cannot conquer without 
violence, nor can those who hate it and hope to stifle it, resist without 
vindictiveness. Every struggle has its philosophy, but this is not the 
hour for philosophers. Your young Confederacy wants victory, and champ- 
ions who are not judges. Men must be killed. To impel the people to 
passion there must be some slight illusion mingled with the truth; to arouse 
them to enthusiasm something out of nature must occur. That illusion 
should be a crusade in the name of conquest, and that something out of 
nature should be the black flag. Woe be unto all of you if the Federals 
come with an oath of loyalty in one hand and a torch in the other. I 
have seen Missouri bound hand and foot by this Christless thing called 
Conservatisnij and where to-day she should have two hundred thousand 
heroes fighting for liberty, beneath her banners there are scarcely twenty 
thousand. ' '' 

"What would you do, Captain Quantrell, were your's the power and 
the opportunity?" 

"Do, Mr. Secretary? Why I would wage such a war and have such 
a war waged by land and sea as to make surrender forever impossible. I 
would cover the armies of the Confederacy all over with blood. I would 
invade. I would reward audacity. I would exterminate. I would break 
up foreign enlistments by indiscriminate massacre. I would win the 
independence of my people or I would find them graves." 

"And our prisoners, what of them?" 

"Nothing of them; there would be no prisoners. Do they take any 
prisoners from me? Surrounded, I do not surrender; surprised, I do not 
give way to panic; outnumbered, I rely upon common sense and stubborn 
fighting; proscribed, I answer proclamation with proclamation; outlawed, 
I feel through it my power; hunted, I hunt my hunters in turn; hated and 
made blacker than a dozen devils, I add to my hoofs the swiftness of the 
horse, and to my horns the terrors of a savage following. Kansas should 
be laid waste at once. Meet the torch with the torch, pillage with 
pillage, slaughter with slaughter, subjugation with extermination. You 
have my ideas of war, Mr. Secretary, and I am sorry they do not accord 
with your own, nor the ideas of the government you have the honor to 
represent so well." And Quantrell, without his commission as a Partisan 
Hanger, or without any authorization to raise a regiment of Partisan 
Bangers, bowed himself away from the presence of the Secretary and away 
from Eichmond. 




was even then a rising star, keenly jealous of Quantrill, and that 
he finally usurped the prestige and power of the guerrilla chief- 
tain and drove him out of the service. QuantrilPs fear of the> 
growing power of Todd was one reason why he sought more^ 
power and authority in Richmond. 

After the battle of Hartville the command of Quantrill was 
still further depleted. General John S. Marmaduke sent Gregg, 
John Ross, John Koger, and Bennett Wood to Missouri to recruit 
men for his command. They arrived in Jackson county, Janu- 
ary 19, 1863, having marched more than two hundred miles 
over rough roads and in a strange country. Gregg captured 
and paroled nearly two hundred militia on the trip. "When he 
turned over the command of the guerrillas to Lieutenant Scott 
to go to Missouri there were but twenty-five men in it. 

Quantrill returned from Richmond through Mississippi. He 
stopped two or three days at the camp of some Missouri troops 
on Black River twelve miles east of Vicksburg. 2 He arrived at 
the camp of his followers much crestfallen and discouraged. He 
was ambitious. Through his distorted vision he saw promotions 
in store for him and honors heaped upon him. He believed he 
had earned them, and well earned them. But he had found the 
world larger than he believed it, and he was surprised and vexed 
to find that the eyes of the whole Confederacy were not fixed 
upon him and his achievements. He pined to be a hero, and was 
hurt to think he was not so regarded. He had not been wined 
and dined in Richmond. His discouragement was augmented 
when he saw the dilapidated condition of his band, the mere 
skeleton which remained of it. He carried his woe to General 
Sterling Price, who cheered him up as best he could. General 
Price promised him great things and insisted that he stop his 
bushwhacking and horse-stealing, insisting that there was yet 
time and chance for promotion. Indeed, Price may have given 
him the colonel's commission, for this was a common procedure 
in the Confederate service west of the Mississippi. And Pricp 
had fared little better at the hands of the Richmond officials 

2 Told the author by T. C. Caldwell, Esq., of Independence, Mo., 
May 15, 1906. Mr. Caldwell saw Quantrill at the camp on Black Eiver, 
but does not recall that any one was traveling with him. 


than had Quantrill. President Davis held General Price in 
supreme contempt.3 With his men Quantrill put on a bold face 
for a short time and talked of regular warfare. This was the 
worst possible course he could have taken with his men, especially 
with his officers. They in a manner deserted him and formed 
bands of their own. Each of these bands operated independently 
of all the others. Quantrill was recognized as a sort of head 
officer, and the lesser chieftains paid him a sort of homage and 
co-operated with him in the guerrilla warfare he engaged in 
during the summer of 1863. 4 

Quantrill's captains were very busy during the summer of 
1863, but Quantrill himself did little except to plan and execute 
the Lawrence raid. He fell again into despondency, to alleviate 
which he had recourse to his favorite dissipation. He kidnapped 
a girl named Kate Clarke and made her his mistress, and he spent 
most of his time with her in the brush.s 

3 See The Battle of Westport, by Paul B. Jenkins, pp. 22, 23. 

4 The arrangement between Quantrill and General Price is fully set 
out in Rebellion Records, Series I, Vol. XXIII, p. 320, Report of Walter 
King, Lieutenant-Colonel, Fourth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, dated, Lex- 
ington, Mo., May 5, 1863. It is as follows: 

An hour has elapsed since penning the foregoing paragraph, spent in 
interview with "John DeCourcy, " my most trusted spy, who reached here, 
and I gather the following: Quantrill is here; he came from Price to 
conscript; he came with 40 men; he has joined Reid's, Jarrett's, Todd'i, 
Younger 's, and Clifton's gangs to his own, which give him from 125 to 
150 men ; he disbanded his force on Sunday night, with orders to rendezvous 
on Thursday night on the Big Sni, precise place not definitely learned; 
has orders from Price to stop bushwhacking and horse stealing. Price is 
to invade Southeast Missouri, and Quantrill is to annoy Kansas and Wes- 
tern Missouri; intends to conscript all of military age; has secret notice 
among Southern men to come to his camp and get property taken by 
mistake; came here to stay, not to take away any recruits; seems to be 
rather elevated in his purposes by his six or eight months' experience with 
the regular forces. 

s Letter of Charles F. Taylor ("Fletch" Taylor) to W. W. Scott, 
now in the Collection of the author. Taylor wrote very interesting letters. 
He saw deeper into Quantrill and his motives than any of his men. Quan- 
trill took this Kate Clarke to Howard county with him in the summer of 
1864 and did almost no fighting. Nothing of the parentage of Kate 
Clarke has been learned. Quantrill became much attached to her, and at 
his death left her two thousand dollars in gold, with which she established 
a house of ill fame in St. Louis. This house became notorious. Scott 
wrote the Clarke woman there, but his letter was returned and is now in the 
Collection of the author. Scott must have been informed that QuantriU 


The rumors and flying reports of the great activity of Quan- 
trill in the summer of 1863 were rumors only. The activity and 
actions of all his captains were laid at his door. The Rebellion \ 
Records have little to say about that summer, and the Gregg 
Manuscript contains accounts of the movements of the captains 
only during that period. He was nominally in command and 
the captains yielded him certain allegiance, but the guerrilla 
deeds that summer up to the Lawrence raid were principally 
their deeds, and they will appear in the notices of the captains 
respectively. It is not meant to say here that he did nothing 
in the summer of 1863. He did much, but nothing to compare 
with what he did in the summer of 1862. He still had much in- 
fluence over all the guerrillas, and he realized that his power was 
waning long before his men thought of that matter. 

had married Kate Clarke, for he asked her that question in the letter. 
Extracts from the letters of Taylor are given here: 

Q. was a good commander and a brave man and all the men had 
confidence in him. Don't think he was cowardly, although I never saw him 
in a close place, as the men preferred to go in the lead, and let him manage, 
as we did not wish to lose him. 

He took Kate Clarke in the summer of 1863, and she went willingly, 
as he borrowed my Gray mare for her to ride on to a place some five 
miles from camp. I don't know whether Walker gave him anything or 
not, but his girl was Quantrill's mistress for some time after I joined; 
she has since married a man by name of Woods. 

Others say he kidnapped this girl and that it took her some time to 
become reconciled to the life to which he doomed her, but that she became 
infatuated with him, even wearing a man's clothing and riding in the 
ranks to be near him. 



THE genesis of the Lawrence Massacre lies back seven 
years. The roots of this bloody and inhuman deed were 
sunk deep in the political compost of the affairs of Terri- 
torial Kansas and Missouri border-ruffianism. It was the con- 
summation of the unrelenting purpose of the spirit of slavery 
which ran riot along the border in 1856. There were subsequent 
causes, to be sure, but they were subordinate and local. 1 

Lawrence was founded in the spirit of human liberty. It 
had its inception in the idea that slavery should not be one of the 
institutions of Kansas. When the Emigrant Aid Company made 
the town its headquarters in Kansas the forces of slavery on the 
border decreed its destruction. This Emigrant Aid Company 
caused deeper and more lasting bitterness in Missouri than all 
other incidents in the history of Kansas. Nothing else so en- 
raged the South. And Lawrence was the town of the "Aid 
Company." It stood as the embodiment of the anti-slavery 
sentiment of the North abolitionism, if you will final de- 

i Other raids were for plunder, the Lawrence raid was for slaughter. 
That some of the raiders should assign retaliation as the motive was to 
be expected. It was the nearest motive at hand and made a plausible 
excuse. That some of the raiders had suffered personal wrongs and were 
inspired with feelings of revenge, we can well believe. But this could 
not have been the inspiration of the attack, nor the cause of its excessive 
brutality. These things show that it had its roots deeper than this. Its 
roots ran back into the old pro-slavery hate of six years before. . . . 
Its inspiration and its venom flowed from the same source and sentiments 
whence the earlier invasions came. It sprang from the same sentiment 
which had three times before assailed Lawrence and been foiled. . . . 
The movement sprang from the same soil which produced the Wakarusa 
War and the troubles of 1856. It was the same conflict on a larger scale. 
The same principles were at stake, and the same parties confronted each 
other. The same feelings inspired either side. The same hate sought to 
gratify itself under the new conditions. 

The border ruffians of 1856 became the bushwhackers of 1863. Dr. 
Richard Cordley, in his History of Lawrence, pp. 196, 197. 


struction of the institution of slavery. Perhaps some of the 
founders of Lawrence repudiated the term " abolitionist," but 
it was well understood in all quarters that if slavery was defeated/ 
in Kansas it could not survive in the Union. The man who 
claimed that he was simply anti-slavery and not an abolitionist 
insisted upon a distinction without a difference. The man who 
labored to make Kansas a free State labored for national aboli- 
tionism whether he admitted it or not. This was perfectly under- 
stood in the South, and a careful study of the debates in the 
Congressional sessions of those times will clearly show that it 
was equally well understood in the North. The repeal of the 
Missouri Compromise had made any other interpretation of the 
Kansas strugle impossible. The Missourian believed that in 
fighting Lawrence he was battling against national abolitionism, 
and that in her destruction the evil day for his favorite institu- 
tion might be postponed, if even complete victory should not be 
attained. To him Lawrence was Kansas, and he sought every 
means to destroy it in the interest of the government and civil- 
ization he was trying to establish there. It became the object of 
deep and bitter hatred in Missouri, and, while in 1863 no one 
there was so mad as to believe its destruction could have any in- 
fluence on the result of the war, there lingered in the mind of 
every secessionist and every Confederate in Missouri a malignant 
hatred of Lawrence. And it remained for Quantrill, a man who 
cared nothing for slavery as an institution, nothing for the ab- 
olition of slavery, nothing for the North, nothing for the South, 
to seize upon this feeling and make it a means to gratify his 
thirst for blood and greed for spoil and plunder. 

In enumerating some of the instances showing the results of 
this feeling in Missouri in the Territorial days of Kansas the 
author again disclaims all desire to revive bitterness between 
sister States. Kansas has her history, and that history cannot be 
spoken of without mention of the various incidents of it ; and as 
Missouri assumed the right to make Kansas history and shape 
Kansas institutions, many of her people were parties to these 
incidents. In Kansas there has been no feeling on this matter 
for forty years. And it is believed there is none in Missouri. 
These two States are more closely identified in business matters 


and all material interests than any other two States in the Union. 
Goodfellowship is universal, and recounting historical facts 
which occurred in other times under conditions which all rejoice 
to know are gone never to return should not be taken as any de- 
sire to disturb it. To a proper understanding of the conditions 
in Western Missouri which made the Lawrence Massacre possible 
it is necessary that these times be reviewed. 

When Kansas was made a Territory the slave-party was in 
power at Washington, and the Washington government stood 
behind all the acts of the border-ruffians in Kansas. The in- 
vasions of Kansas were upheld there and even applauded. To 
carry the first election in Kansas, Missourians came over by 
hundreds and by thousands. They took possession of the polls, 
thrust aside the lawful judges at the muzzle of the revolver, 
voted, certified to the accuracy and legality of the poll-books, 
packed them up and carried them away. These actions were 
performed by direction of the leading men of the border counties. 
General David R. Atchison, long United States Senator from 
Missouri, was the chief mover in the matter. He was at the 
bottom of all the agitation. William C. Price, of Springfield, 
Mo., once told the author that Atchison acted at his suggestion, 
and that he himself represented in Missouri the ultra-wing of the 
slave power. 

For condemning the people of Missouri for going to Kansas 
to vote, the Luminary, published at Parkville, Mo., was destroyed 
and the presses and type thrown into the Missouri river. This 
act was approved in all the border counties by public assemblies. 
The mob held a meeting at the conclusion of its work and de- 
cided to reassemble at the same place in three weeks. It adopted 
the following resolution touching the proprietors of the paper: 
"And if we find G. S. Parks or W. J. Patterson in this town 
then or at any subsequent time, we will throw them into the 
Missouri River, and if they go to Kansas to reside, we pledge 
our honor as men to follow and hang them whenever we can take 

William A. Phillips, a lawyer at Leavenworth, favored the 
Free-State cause in Kansas. For this he was kidnapped, carried 
to Weston, Mo., where one side of his head was shaved; he was 


tarred, feathered, and ridden on a rail about two miles, and then 
sold at auction for one dollar, a negro slave being forced to cry 
him off to the highest bidder. 

On the 25th of October, 1855, Charles W. Dow, a Free-State 
settler in Douglas county, was murdered by Franklin N. Cole- 
man, a pro-slavery settler. Out of this murder grew the Wak- 
arusa War. Fifteen hundred Missourians gathered at Franklin, 
about four miles east of Lawrence, for the avowed purpose of 
destroying the town. A treaty of peace was signed by Lane, 
Robinson, and Governor Shannon, and this turned the Missouri- 
ans homeward, but they plundered Free-State settlers wherever 
found. During this war Thomas W. Barber, a Free-State set- 
tler, was shot and killed in cold blood by either George W. Clark 
or James N. Burnes, border ruffians. 

In May, 1856, the Herald of Freedom and the Kansas Free- 
State, newspapers, and the Eldridge House, all at Lawrence, 
were decreed nuisances by the Federal grand jury and ordered 
abated. Acting under this authority, General Atchison gathered 
about six hundred Missourians and invaded Kansas. Lawrence 
was sacked. The newspapers and the Eldridge House were 
destroyed. The people were driven from their homes and the 
stores and dwellings pillaged. The dwelling of Governor Robin- 
son was burned. In his exultation General Atchison made a 
speech to his men as they began their work in which he said : 

Boys, this day I am a Kickapoo Ranger, by God. This day 
we have entered Lawrence, " Southern Rights" inscribed on our 
banners, and not one damned abolitionist has dared to fire a gun. 
No, by God, not one ! This, boys, is the happiest day of my whole 
life. We have entered the damned city, and to-night the aboli- 
tionists will learn a Southern lesson that they will remember to 
the day of their death. And now, boys, we will go in with our 
highly honorable Jones, and test the strength of that damned 
Free-State Hotel, and learn the Emigrant Aid Society that Kan- 
sas shall be ours. Boys, ladies should be, and I trust will be, 
respected by all gentlemen; but, by God, when a woman takes 
on herself the garb of a soldier by carrying a Sharps 's rifle, then 
she is no longer a woman, and, by God, treat her for what you 
find her, and trample her underfoot as you would a snake. By 
God, come on boys ! Now to your duties to yourselves and your 
Southern friends ! Your duty I know you will do ; and if a man 


or woman dare to stand before you, blow them to hell with a 
chunk of cold lead ! 

A few days later John Brown and a party slew five pro- 
slavery men on Pottawatomie creek. These men had terrified 
the Free-State settlers, ordered them to leave the Territory, and 
had insulted their wives and daughters ; it had come to the point 
where one party or the other had to leave the country or fight. 
John Brown chose to fight. General Jo 0. Shelby, a few weeks 
before his death, told the author that John Brown was the only 
Free-State man with the true conception of the conditions which 
prevailed at the time, saying: 

"I was in Kansas at the head of an armed force about that 
time. I was there to kill Free-State men. I did kill them. I am 
now ashamed of myself for having done so, but then times were 
different from what they are now, and that is what I went there 
for. We Missourians all went there for that purpose if it should 
be found necessary to do so to carry out our designs. I had no 
business there. No Missourian had any business there with arms 
in his hands. The policy that sent us there was damnable, and 
the trouble we started on the border bore fruit for ten years. I 
ought to have been shot there, and John Brown was the only 
man who knew it and would have done it. I say John Brown was 
right. I knew the men he killed. I condemn his killing of the 
younger Doyles, but the others got only what they deserved. 
After that I had great respect for Old John Brown. He did in 
his country what I should have done in mine under like circum- 
stances. Those were days when slavery was in the balance, and 
the violence engendered made men irresponsible. I now see I 
was so myself." Brave words from one of the bravest men and 
best soldiers that ever shouldered a musket in America! Only 
a brave man and great man can bring himself to make such 
a confession. 2 

2 In the last years of his life General Shelby was United States 
Marshal for the western district of Missouri. His office was at Kansas 
City. This was during the last administration of Grover Cleveland. Gen- 
eral Shelby died while yet in office. 

General Shelby was a Kentuckian, as I am. I lived then in Kansas 
City, Kansas, and I often visited him at his office to talk over olden times 
and historical events. We often discussed the Territorial times of Kansas 


John Brown fell upon a band of some thirty ruffians at 
Black Jack, near the present town of Baldwin, in Douglas county. 
He had less than a dozen men, but he captured the Missourians. 
In this battle there was a young Missourian named Jacob Cantrel 
who fought under John Brown, or who rendered him signal aid 
and service. He had the misfortune to be captured by a band 
of his countrymen a few days later. As these were returning 
home they camped one night on Cedar creek, west of Olathe. 
There they tried Cantrel for "treason to Missouri," convicted 
him, and led him out of camp and shot him to death. 

The demoralization was terrible. An act committed at 
Leavenworth confirms this. It is described by Dr. John H. 
Gihon, private secretary to Governor Geary, in his splendid 
work, Geary and Kansas: 

On the 17th, a shocking affair occurred in the neighborhood 
of Leavenworth. Two ruffians sat at a table in a low groggery, 
imbibing potations of bad whiskey. One of them, named Fugert, 
belonging to Atchison's band, bet his companion six dollars 
against a pair of boots, that he would go out, and in less than 
two hours bring in the scalp of an abolitionist. He went into the 
road, and meeting a Mr. Hoppe, who was in his carriage just 

and the border troubles. General Shelby always denounced Quantrill 
in the, severest terms. He had outlived and outgrown the bitterness of 
border times. He was a very just, earnest, sincere man. He told me 
without reserve of the raids he had made into Kansas during the troubles 
in Kansas Territorial days. He repented his actions and reproached himself 
that he had ever done these things. He said he was wrong, that he had 
no business in Kansas on any guch errands, that the policy of the South 
which sent him there was damnable, that John Brown was the only Kansas 
man who had the right idea of the conditions existing there and the only 
man who had the courage to resist Missourians at the muzzle of the rifle. 
He believed John Brown was right. I have heard General Shelby gay 
more than once that Virginia would some day erect a great monument to 
John Brown. He was an admirer of John Brown and often said that 
Brown was the bravest man who ever stood upon a scaffold. He said 
Brown would have shot him had he found him harrowing Kansas settlers, 
and that it would have been just and right. That in so doing Brown 
would have done no more in Kansas than he, Shelby, would have done in 

The words in the text are as nearly what General Shelby said as I 
could write them after our interview. He expressed the sentiments of the 
text to me many times. 


returning to Leaven worth from a visit to Lawrence, where he 
had conveyed his wife, Fugert deliberately shot him ; then taking 
out his bowie-knife whilst his victim was still alive, he cut and 
tore off the scalp from his quivering head. Leaving the body of 
Hoppe lying in the road, he elevated his bloody trophy upon a 
pole, and paraded it through the streets of Leavenworth, amid 
the shouts of the "law and order" militia, and the plaudits of 
some who are denominated the noblest specimens of "southern 
chivalry," and regarded as men of respectability. On the same 
day a teamster, who was approaching Leavenworth, was mur- 
dered and scalped by another human monster. 

A poor German, when the scalp of Hoppe was brought into 
Leavenworth, was imprudent enough to express his horror of 
the shocking deed, when he was ordered to run for his life, in 
attempting which a number of bullets sped after him, and he 
fell dead in the street. The pro-slavery men aided Fugert to 
escape from the territory by sending him down the river, and 
furnishing him with money. He wore, upon his departure, the 
boots he so nobly won. 

Quoting still further from Dr. Gihon, it will be seen that 
robbery was one of the objects of Missourians in the invasion of 
Kansas : 

On the 7th, Reid, with one hundred and seventy men, 
inarched into Osawatomie, and without resistance, entered each 
house, robbing it of everything of value. There were but few 
men in the town, and the women and children were treated with 
the utmost brutality. Stores and dwellings were alike entered 
and pillaged. Trunks, boxes, and desks were broken open, and 
their contents appropriated or destroyed. Even rings were rudely 
pulled from the ears and fingers of the women, and some of the 
apparel from their persons. The liquor found was freely drunk, 
and served to incite the plunderers to increased violence in the 
prosecution of their mischevous work. Having completely 
stripped the town, they set fire to several houses, then beat a 
rapid retreat, carrying off a number of horses, and loudly urging 

each other to greater haste, as "the d d abolitionists were 

coming ! ' ' 

This was Captain John W. Reid, who, under Colonel Doni- 
phan, had done so nobly at the battle of Sacramento. Under the 
demoralization brought on by the battle in Kansas for slavery he 
degenerated into a robber and murderer. He returned later to 
Osawatomie and killed several men and burned the town. 


Thomas H. Gladstone, correspondent for the London Times, 
visited Kansas in 1856. At Kansas City he met the border-ruf- 
fians returning from the sacking of Lawrence. They were loaded 
with property stolen at Lawrence, the value of which he fixed at 
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He was a shorthand 
writer and noted down the conversation of some of the leaders, 
extracts from which are quoted here: 

The day following the attack upon Lawrence being that of 
my own arrival in the territory, I am able to supply its later 
history from personal observation, and will endeavor to illustrate 
the condition of Kansas at that excited time by the narrative of 
things seen and heard during the period of my visit. 

The border-ruffian forces employed in the siege and sack of 
Lawrence, being disbanded, were to be seen on the following day 
spreading over the roads towards the east, carrying fury and 
violence wherever they went. Having once been taught that 
robbery and outrage, if committed in the service of the South, 
were to be regarded as deeds of loyalty and obedience, these 
ministers of a self-styled "law and order" were slow to unlearn 
a doctrine so acceptable. The day, like the preceding, was ex- 
tremely hot, the thermometer standing at above ninety degrees; 
their thirst knew no bounds; and when a barrel of Bourbon, or 
Monongahela, or Double Rectified was accessible, they forgot 
even in some instances to ask the politics of its possessor. Thus 
through the day they sustained their turbulent fury, and when 
night came, it found them prepared for any excesses. 

It was on that night that I first came in contact with the 
Missourian patriots. I had just arrived in Kansas City, and 
shall never forget the appearance of the lawless mob that poured 
into the place, inflamed with drink, glutted with the indulgence 
of the vilest passions, displaying with loud boasts the "plunder" 
they had taken from the inhabitants, and thirsting for the oppor- 
tunity of repeating the sack of Lawrence in some other offend- 
ing place. Men, for the most part of large frame, with red 
flannel shirts and immense boots worn outside their trousers, 
their faces unwashed and unshaven, still reeking with the dust 
and smoke of Lawrence, wearing the most savage looks, and giv- 
ing utterance to the most horrible imprecations and blasphemies ; 
armed, moreover, to the teeth with rifles and revolvers, cutlasses 
and bowie-knives, such were the men I saw around me. Some 
displayed a grotesque intermixture in their dress, having crossed 
their native red rough shirt with the satin vest or narrow dress- 
coat pillaged from the wardrobe of some Lawrence Yankee, or 
having girded themselves with the cords and tassels which the 


day before had ornamented the curtains of the Free-State Hotel. 
Looking around at these groups of drunken, bellowing, blood- 
thirsty demons, who crowded around the bar of the hotel, shout- 
ing for drink, or vented their furious noise on the levee without, 
I felt that all my former experiences of border men and Mis- 
sourians bore faint comparison with the spectacle presented by 
this wretched crew, who appeared only the more terrifying from 
the darkness of the surrounding night. The hotel in Kansas 
City where we were, was the next, they said, that should fall; 
the attack was being planned that night, and such, they declared, 
should be the end of every place which was built by Free-State 
men, or that harbored "those rascally abolitionists." Happily 
this threat was not fulfilled. 

A number of these men became my companions for the night, 
as I went up by one of the Missouri steamboats from Kansas City 

to Leavenworth A general rush to the bar ensued. 

Already maddened with whiskey, each would treat his fellow 
in arms: 

"Step up, and liquor here, you sir. A heap finer this stuff 
than that there rot-gut ashore. Here, you sir ; don 't be askeared. 
One of our boys, I reckon? All right on the goose, eh? No 
high-falutin' airs here, you know. Keep that for them Yankee 
Blue-Bellies down East. If there's any of that sort here, I reckon 
they'd better make tracks mighty quick, and that's a fact, while 
I 'se on board, unless they want to make a quicker road out than 
they came in. Yes, sir, this yere tool of mine [handling a pis- 
tol], it isn't the first time it has seen a Blue-belly. If there's any 
of that 'ere sort aboard, I say the'd better clear out, that's sar- 
tin. We ain't agoin' to stand them coming here, we ain't. Isn't 
their own place down East big enough for them, I should like 
to know? We ain't agoin' to stand their comin' and dictatin' 

to us with their nigger-worshipping, we ain 't. I reckon 

we'll make the place hot enough for them soon, that's a fact. 
Here, boys, drink. Liquors, captain, for the crowd. Step up 
this way, old hoss, and liquor." 

This respectable merchant was surrounded, as he stood in 
the cabin of the boat, by a circle, which I joined. Out of a side- 
pocket protruded the head of a pistol ; in his hand he brandished 
another, loaded, as he told us, and ready for action. With 
threatening aspect and attitude, he poured forth, amid many 
oaths, the following language addressed to us all: 

"I am bound to bring down some one before I'm done; I 

tell you, by I am. I'll teach those infernal nigger-stealing 

Freesoilers a lesson right peartly, that's a fact. If there's a dog- 
gauned Abolitionist aboard, I should like to see him, that I 


should. I'm the man to put a chunk o' lead into his woolly 
head, right off; yes, sir, that's what I'll do." 

Then looking around at each of us, "I reckon I can raise 
the top off the head of ere a one of you with this hyere tool. 

Speak the word, and, by , I'm your man. That's so. I 

should like to see the first Freesoiler that opens his mouth ; that 
I should. I'd send him to hell pretty quick, afore he know'd 
what he was about; that's what I'd do. I'm a might ce-urious 
customer, I am." 

And so thought, probably, one of his hearers, for he said 
to the curious customer, "Come, old hoss, won't you have some 
breakfast?" The old horse was not to be so easily diverted, 

"Breakfast! think I'd be after breakfast when I've got my 
duty before me? No, sir, exercise is the thing for me not 
eating. I tell you I'm bound to drop some one afore I'm done 
that I am. I've got to fight for the liberties of my country 
and our glorious constitution, and rid the place of those cowardly 
Blue-bellied Yankees. Yes, sir, that's what I've got to do. I 
should like to know what they've to do in this hyere place, with 
their snarlin', sneakin', whittlin'-o'-nothin' ways. I tell you 
there's not a man amongst them as knows how to fight. I should 
like to see the first one as '11 open his mouth here, that 's what I 
should like to see. I tell you I'm a ce-urious customer. Yes, 
sir-ree ; my dog knows that, ' ' pointing to a large dog that seemed 
prepared to stand by his master for better or worse. Then, "I 
should like to sot my eyes on the man as would touch that 'ere 
dog of mine, i 'd lay him dead in a moment, that I would. Just 
see me." 

None of us felt inclined to touch the dog, and the respectable 
merchant returned to his politics and patriotism. 

"No Northern nigger-stealers here. I'll fix 'em up mighty 
smart, I will. I ain't here for nothing, and that you'll see, just 
about as soon as anything. Yes, sir, I only want to see the first 
Freesoiler here. I'll drop the first one of you that opens his 
mouth for abolition cusses; I be dog-gauned if I don't." 

Mr. Gladstone gives us the language of but one of the ruf- 
fians. All the others were as bad ; there was but one spirit actu- 
ating all of them. There was then promulgated and taught as 
justice and righteousness the principle that governed the ruf- 
fians of the border until after the close of the Civil War. Glad- 
stone thus expressed this principle: 

"Having once been taught that robbery and outrage, if com- 


mitted in the service of the South, were to be regarded as deeds 
of loyalty and obedience, these ministers of a self-styled 'law and 
order' were slow to unlearn a doctrine so acceptable." 

The violence of those times is now inconceivable. In a 
speech at St. Joseph, March 26, 1855, Benjamin F. Stringfellow 

I tell you to mark every scoundrel among you that is in the 
least tainted with free-soilism or abolitionism and exterminate 
him. Neither give nor take quarter from the damned rascals. 
I propose to mark them in this house, and on the present occasion, 
so you may crush them out. To those who have qualms of con- 
science as to violating laws, state or national, the crisis has ar- 
rived when such impositions must be disregarded, as your rights 
and property are in danger, and I advise one and all to enter 
every election district in Kansas, in defiance of Reeder and his 
vile myrmidons, and vote at the point of the bowie-knife and the 
revolver. Neither give nor take quarter, as our cause demands 
it. It is enough that the slaveholding interest wills it, from 
which there is no appeal. What right has Governor Reeder to 
rule Missourians in Kansas? His proclamation and prescribed 
oath must be prohibited. It is to your interest to do so. Mind 
that slavery is established where it is not prohibited. 

Robert S. Kelly was a typical border-ruffian. He swore he 
could not rest or die happy until he had killed an abolitionist. 
"If," said he, "I can't kill a man, I'll kill a woman; and if I 
can't kill a woman, I'll kill a child." 

Dr. Gihon gives us a general description of the times, as 
follows : 

There are hundreds of well authenticated accounts of the 
cruelties practiced by this horde of ruffians, some of them too 
shocking and disgusting to relate, or to be accredited if told. 
The tears and shrieks of terrified women, folded in their foul 
embrace, 'failed to touch a chord of mercy in their brutal hearts, 
and the mutilated bodies of murdered men, hanging upon the 
trees, or left to rot upon the prairies or in the deep ravines, or 
furnish food for vultures and wild beasts, told frightful stories 
of brutal ferocity from which the wildest savages might have 
shrunk with horror. 

In these actions and conditions, and in the spirit which they 


made the code of justice and morality along the border the Law- 
rence Massacre had its origin. 

May 19, 1858, Dr. Hamelton and twenty-four other border- 
ruffians planned and executed an indiscriminate massacre of 
Kansas citizens. This is known as the Marais des Cygnes Mas- 
sacre. They arrested eleven citizens of Linn county, Kansas, 
marched them to a ravine, formed them in line there, and fired 
until every man fell. The murdered numbered five and the 
wounded five. One escaped unhurt ; he and the wounded escaped 
by feigning death. The bodies were robbed and left weltering 
in their blood, and the murderers returned to Missouri ; they were 
never molested or called to account. 

The burning of Osceola by General James H. Lane has been 
generally cited by Missouri writers as a justification for the 
Lawrence Massacre by Quantrill. On this subject George W. 
Martin, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, said in 
a recent address: 

James H. Lane, in command of the United States troops, on 
the 22nd day of September, 1861, destroyed the town of Osceola, 
St. Clair county, Missouri. This is generally stated as the excuse 
for the Lawrence Massacre of August 21, 1863. Lane went to 
Osceola on a legitimate errand of warfare to destroy certain 
supplies of the enemy Sterling Price at this time having cap- 
tured Colonel Mulligan at Lexington. Lane was fired on from 
ambush, and in returning the fire killed one man. Lane's men 
helped the women get their personal effects from their houses. 
Lane took the records from the court-house before applying the 
torch, and returned them at the close of the war. Lawrence was 
destroyed or besieged three times in December, 1855, May 21, 
1856, and September 15, 1856. This third time Governor Geary 
arrived with United States troops to turn back to Missouri the 
2,700 invaders. Osawatomie was raided and robbed by 150 Mis- 
sourians June 6, and destroyed by 500 Missourians August 
30, 1856. The Marais des Cygnes Massacre, May 18, 1858, 
was planned at Papinsville, Bates county, Missouri, and put 
into lawful execution on the 19th. Thus there were six raids 
from Missouri into Kansas before John Brown made the first 
raid from Kansas into Missouri, December, 1858, when he 
brought out eleven negroes. The second raid from Kansas into 
Missouri was by James B. Abbott and party, July 23, 1859, 
who rescued John Doy from jail in St. Joseph. Lane's march 
upon Osceola was five months after the assault upon Fort 



Sumter, and prior to it there was the seizure of Camp Jackson, 
the Platte Bridge Massacre, the battle of Wilson Creek, the siege 
of Lexington, and the battle of Morristown. 

With all these things Quantrill was familiar. He had ar- 
rived in Kansas too late to participate in all the wars between 
the Territory and Missouri. But he was a prominent character 
in the bands that invaded Missouri for reprisal. How he had 
been carried over to the side of the Missourians has been told 
herein. He carried there with him an intense hatred of Kansas, 
and he added to it all the bitterness he found there as the result 
of the conflict which arose over slavery. He had no convictions 
on any subject, but governed his life by personal grievances 
which came upon him because of his crimes. 

When the war came on and the pro-slavery men had cast 
their lot with the Confederacy, the positions of the Kansans and 
the Missourians were exactly reversed; the Washington govern- 
ment was behind the Kansans. There were rough characters 
in Kansas who had been developed in the bloody scenes upon 
the border. These took occasion to settle old scores over the 
line. They did, after the war began, what the Missourians had 
been doing to Kansas since 1854. That some of these Kansas 
men as soldiers committed excesses and crimes in Missouri has 
always been admitted. General Schofield, in his official report 
of the Lawrence Massacre, admits it, and it has never been de- 
nied. And in Kansas it was never justified, palliated, nor ex- 
cused. The perpetrators of these crimes were never in good 
standing in Kansas. They slunk out of sight and disappeared. 
They did not engage in general highway robbery and murder 
after the war. Kansas executed or killed Cleveland or Metz 
during the war for attempting such a course. 

And, as has been pointed out herein, the Missourians had 
more to complain of from brother Missourians than from any 
other people. All the immediate causes for the Lawrence Mas- 
sacre enumerated in the Gregg Manuscript are expressly charged 
in that paper to Colonel Penick and his regiment of Missourians. 

And it must be remembered that prior to the Lawrence 
Massacre Quantrill had raided Aubry and burned it, had raided 
Shawneetown and burned it, had raided Olathe and murdered 


and robbed there, and had killed citizens and non-combatants 
in all these raids. Todd had raided Spring Hill, and Bill Ander- 
son had raided far into Kansas along the Old Santa Fe Trail, 
burning and murdering. 

No, the guerrillas had no sufficient cause for the Lawrence 
Massacre. It was never the home of Jennison, the Kansan of 
whom Missourians had most cause to complain. The Massacre 
had its origin in the hatred slavery bore the town and in the 
depravity and desperation of Quantrill himself. 



KANSAS should be laid waste at once. 
That is what Quantrill told the Confederate secretary 
of war at Richmond when he went there seeking author- 
ity to raise a regiment of Partisan Rangers. 

Kansas should be laid waste at once. 

This was the one idea of Quantrill. It was ever present in 
his mind. The one object of his life was to enter Kansas with 
an adequate force, and then burn and murder. He would devas- 
tate would become a devouring fire. 

And for what ? Not that Kansas or any of her citizens had 
harmed him or injured Missouri. Quantrill cared nothing for 
Missouri. He cared only for Quantrill. His whole life was 
predicated on the incomprehensible misanthropy rankling in his 
own soul. Missouri and Missourians were to him a means to an 
end to harrass, murder, burn, rob, destroy, lay waste in Kan- 
sas. Only that. Nothing more. He murdered many Missourians. 
Any man in Missouri who would not aid him to ravage Kansas 
was a dead man if Quantrill could get his hands upon him. 
"When a man deliberately and with malice wrongs another the 
act embitters him, recoils upon him, plunges him into excesses. 
He hopes the cumulative nature of these excesses may in some 
way work him out a cause a justification. This self-deception 
seems to be inherent in man. It had complete control of Quan- 
trill. He had run swiftly in the ways of wickedness, depravity 
and crime in Kansas. He knew that he should be despised there, 
abhorred; and knowing this, he believed the people of Kansas 
held him in loathing, detestation. A soul like Quantrill 's reasons 
that way. He raged against Kansas day and night. He thought 
of nothing but the humiliation and destruction of her people. 



That is why he sought authority in Richmond to raise a regi- 
ment of outlaws. For then he could shed blood like water in 
Kansas. Then would the sky be blackened with the smoke rising 
from the scourging of Kansas, and the land filled with the la- 
mentations of the orphan and the homeless widow a sacrifice 
required, demanded, cried for by the hideous, monstrous, mis- 
shapen thing Quan trill called his soul. "Kansas should be laid 
waste at once." That was his cry, his thought day and night 
his life. 

"While Quantrill had lost favor with his officers, he was still 
strong with the guerrillas. They worshiped him. According to 
his tale he had a grievance, a cause for his malevolence, a justi- 
fication for his desperation. They could understand that matter 
as long as they believed his story true, and he was careful to talk 
little of his past life. He knew he lived over a mine always 
smouldering to the verge of explosion. 

Seeing what sympathy and strength a grievance brought to 
Quantrill, other guerrilla captains sought to establish grievances 
for themselves. In some instances these grievances were invented 
for them long after they were dead. 

In 1863 General Ewing, in command at Kansas City, had 
been compelled to arrest and imprison 
a number of young women living in Jack- 
son county, Missouri. These women were 
spies, impelled by love for fathers, broth- 
ers, or sweethearts in the guerrilla camps. 
The love and devotion of women can 
never be told. Woman is a partisan. 
She will give her life for any cause she 
may espouse and give it freely and 
all the more freely if maternal love is in- 
volved. This principle is the sheet-an- 
chor, the hope of the world. 

These women rode into Kansas City 
almost daily. They saw everything and 
talked to those who could give them information that would be 
of benefit to the guerrillas. They secretly bought pistol-caps 

Nannie Hani* 


and other ammunition. When they left the city they rode by 
many a turn of lane and stream, through thickets and over 
rough hills, to the safe hiding-places of the guerrillas to report 
and deliver supplies. Who could blame the guerrillas for wor- 
shiping them, for being ever ready and willing to fight to the 
death for them? No one. It is to their credit that they thus 
regarded these young women greatly to their credit. Nor 
can one find it in his heart to censure much these girls, though 
their actions forfeited their lives by all military codes. No 
doubt, General Ewing much regretted the necessity for placing 
them in confinement, for any harsh measure towards woman 
grieves every honorable man. He dealt with them very leniently 
and allowed them great latitude; when they were cut off from 
communication with the guerrillas his whole object was ac- 

Among these women were the sisters of Bill Anderson 
three sisters, Josephine, Mary, and Jenny. They had been 
arrested south of Westport, near the State-line, by a detail sent 
out for that purpose. Their arrest was accomplished with dif- 
ficulty, for they fought like wildcats and screamed at their high- 
est pitch. But two of them were arrested, the third being but a 
child. Bill Anderson and a number of guerrillas chanced to 
be in hearing and came to the rescue. The two men who had 
discovered the girls were dismounted and marching them along 
the road a lane enclosed by high rail fences when the guer- 
rillas appeared. The captors forced the girls to mount, then 
they mounted behind the saddles. Seizing the reins they 
faced the guerrillas, who could not shoot without hitting the 
captives. It was a desperate situation, and the men told thp 
guerrillas that if either horse or man was wounded the girls 
would be shot at once. Then these Union soldiers backed their 
horses along the road in slow retreat from the guerrillas until 
the other portion of the detail came up, when the girls were 
brought off easily and taken into the lines. The younger sister, 
Jenny, came in voluntarily to live with the others. 

These women were imprisoned in a cheap, poorly con- 
structed, two-story brick building on Grand avenue between 
Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets. The rear of the building 



Charity Kerr 

extended back into a ravine, where the 
walls of the foundation had been built 
without excavation, the ground there 
being low, and the intention being to fill 
about the walls and thus give them earth 
support. But this filling had not been 
done. The rear room of this building, 
in the first story, had never been com- 
pleted. There was no floor in it, and the 
hogs that then ranged at large in Kan- 
sas City came there to lie in the shade 
and the loose dirt which they rooted up 
along the walls. It must be said that 
there was negligence in the care of this 
building by General Ewing. 

There were about a dozen of these women in prison. Sev- 
enteen, in all, had been arrested. Some time in the summer or 
fall of 1863 it was decided to send them to St. Louis where bet- 
ter accommodations could be found for them. In some way they 
discovered that they were to be sent away from Kansas City, 
and they determined to escape if possible. They dug under the 
foundation wall of that part of the building occupied by them, 
and in one more night they would have dug their way out and 
have been free. But a wind-storm came up and the building col- 
lapsed, killing a number of the women and wounding others. 
The guerrillas at once charged that the Union military authori- 
ties had caused the walls to be undermined for the purpose ef 
throwing down the house to kill the captives. It is very difficult 
to see what motive could have been behind any such action. 1 

i There have been many versions of this affair found by the author. 
Some of them are very different from that given in the text, and some 
could not appear in print. The above account is the best the author 
could make up from the conflicting stories. There is no certainty that it 
is correct in all its details. This statement the author desires to make, 
for he would not do injustice to these girls for the world. They were 
unfortunate. They may have been harshly dealt with, though it is the 
opinion of the author that they were very leniently dealt with. Where 
a woman is concerned in such a matter she must have the benefit and 
advantage of every thing that can favor her. The author has found few 


Major Edwards drew a very pathetic and touching picture 
of the sorrow of Bill Anderson when he saw the dead body of 
his sister. There is no doubt that he suffered deep sorrow, guer- 
rilla though he was, and fiend and murderer. Major Edwards 
people who believe that the building was undermined, or who believe there 
was any thing which could have caused the military authorities to desire 
that such a thing should be done. It would be very unjust to the memory 
of General Ewing to fix such a charge upon him now without incontroverti- 
ble proof. All accounts agree that he strained the rules to give them as 
much liberty as possible. 

Many persons have denied to the author that any evidences of recent 
excavations or digging about the walls were found. Hon. Cyrus Leland, Jr., 
was then on General Ewing 's staff, and he is of the opinion that the girls 
were digging their way out; that is his recollection of the matter now. It 
was largely through the efforts of Mr. Leland that Miss Van Ness and 
others were liberated. 

Whatever grievance appears for the guerrillas must be set down. In 
all discussions of these times they must have not only justice but the 
benefit of the doubt. Even then their case will be difficult enough. It 
is the desire and intention to be absolutely fair and just to all men here. 

In an interview in 1887 with Ike Hall and Don Pence at Samuels 's 
Depot (now Wakefield, Ky.) W. W. Scott was told that General Ewing 
captured seventeen girls in Jackson and Cass counties, Mo., and that the 
charge was harboring their brothers, which could not have been true, for 
some had no brothers nor parents living. Among them were one sister 
of Tom Hall and one of John McCorkle. It was told Scott that Bill 
Anderson was working on a farm in Kansas, and that his two sisters 
were captured there and taken to Kansas City. These girls were arrested 
in 1863, and, as said above, the Andersons had been desperate guerrillas 
two years then. The story that the house had been undermined was told 
Scott by Hall and Pence. 

At this same interview it was charged that John Fox, about thirteen 
years old, who had a brother with Quantrill, was shot and killed while his 
sister and mother had hold of him begging for his life. The charge was 
that he fed his brother. James Nicholson, fourteen years old, was killed 
because he had two brothers with Price. Hicks George was hung, but not 
killed, and joined Quantrill. What he was charged with is not stated. 

Don Pence said he joined Quantrill in May or June, 1864. His 
brother, Bud Pence, had joined him six months before. Men came to his 
father's house, in Clay county, Mo., and put a rope around his father's 
neck and threatened to hang him if he did not tell where Bud was. He 
did not know. They broke a fiddle over his head and also the stock of 
a gun in their persuasions before hanging. These had no effect, and he 
was pulled up off his feet two or three times. But no information was 


would have us believe that the death of his sister under these 
circumstances caused Bill Anderson to become a guerrilla. 
Kneeling beside her he vowed to avenge her death and imme- 
diately entered the guerrilla camp. Now, the truth is, that Bill 

gained. He was allowed to live, and moved to Liberty to save sending 
Don to Quantrill, but finally sent him. 

Ike Hall said that Joseph Hall and family lived in Cass county, Me., 
fifteen miles from Kansas City, when they first heard of Quantrill, in 
connection with the Morgan Walker raid. They saw Quantrill riding 
about with a squad after the war broke out. His brother, Joseph Hall, 
joined him in 1861, and in April or May, 1862, Ike joined him at Blue 
Springs. Later in that year Bob Hall joined. That left the father, 
mother, and one sister at home. Jennison, in the winter of 1862, made 
the mother set fire to her own house. When she cried and put up her 
hands to wipe away the tears they jerked her hands down and cursed her. 
They let her take out a part of her things, but made her throw some of 
them back into the fire. They burned the houses of four neighbors the 
same day. 

The above are probably true accounts. The Memo, of the interview 
is in the Collection of the author. 

In a letter written by C. M. Chase in 1873 from Leavenworth, 
Kansas, to his paper at Lyndon, Vermont, the following, in relation to 
Jennison, appears: 

This is the home of Jennison, the Kansas Jayhawker, and of his 
associates. He was a strong slavery man in the '56 times, but when the 
rebellion broke out the Union side afforded the best opportunities for 
robbery, and he was nominally a Union man, but really a plunderer of 
Missouri property. There are miles and miles of Missouri thoroughfare, 
on the border, on which Jennison and his men burned every house and in 
many instances slaughtered the people. One old lady tells us her experi- 
ence: Her husband had been reported a rebel, by some of Jennison 's 
men. In passing his house Jennison called him out, and, without much 
parleying, ordered his boys to string him up on his own piazza. In spite 
of the woman's entreaties and crying a rope was fastened to his neck, and, 
with the other end thrown over a beam, he was jerked several feet into 
the air. As his neck was not broken, he struggled violently for release, 
when Jennison ordered two of his men to jump upon him and break his 
neck. This was done, in the very face of the wife, "and there," said she, 
' ' is the very beam where they hung him. ' ' This is but one specimen of the 
numerous cases of out-lawing perpetrated in those times. 

The error in this is the statement that Jennison was a slavery man; 
he never was that. 

But to show that such things were not uncommon, and to show that 
they had existed long, the author will gay that Hon. George W. Martin, 
Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, has repeatedly told me 
that a member of his family saw Sheriff Jones, of Douglas county, Kansas 
Territory, set on fire the homes of six Free-State settlers one day as he 


Anderson was one of the first guerrillas to take to the brush. 
He was active in 1861. At the time of his sister's death Bill 
Anderson and his brother had been the most desperate guerrillas 
and horse-thieves on the border for two years. But it was made 
an excuse for Bill Anderson's savagery and one of the excuses 
for the Lawrence Massacre. 


One of these girls, Alice Van Ness, afterwards achieved fame 
as an actress. Her stage name was Alice Vane. Before the war 
her father, then a widower, moved with his children from Mary- 
land to St. Joseph, Mo., and there engaged 
hi the wholesale liquor business. He died 
about the year 1861, leaving a son, then in 
California, and a daughter Alice. This 
daughter was a very beautiful girl; she 
sympathized with the South. Not much 
is known of her until the spring of 1863. 
She often visited at the home of the Tor- 
'reys, in Paolo. The Torreys were in full 
sympathy with the South and with Quan- 
trill, and their tavern was always a meet- 
ing-place for disloyal people. After a 
Ato* Van N visit there of some weeks in the spring of 

1863 Miss Van Ness returned to Kansas 

City, and was soon arrested by order of General Ewing as a spy 
and imprisoned in the old house on Grand avenue. She was in 
the building when it fell down, but escaped unhurt. 

The prisoners were placed in the Union Hotel when rescued 
from the ruins of the Grand avenue building. There they were 
given the top floor, and guards were set to protect and retain 

rode into Lecompton. Sheriff Jones lived in Westport, Mo., but in border- 
ruffian rule in Kansas was the sheriff of Douglas county. Such men 
as Jones had practiced murder, robbery, house-burning, town-sacking in 
Kansas Territory six years before the Civil War began. That did not 
justify Jennison or any other officer in violation of the rules of civilized 
warfare in Missouri, however. Jennison should have been hung for his 
crimes there, no doubt. 


them. This hotel was on Main street (east side) about Sixth 

Lieutenant Cyrus Leland, Jr., then on General Ewing's 
staff, boarded at this hotel. He was sent to the prison one even- 
ing after the Lawrence Massacre, and was there spoken to by 
Miss Van Ness, whom he had never seen before. She wished 
to secure a parole and permission to again visit the Torreys, and 
inquired of Leland how to proceed in the matter. Leland told 
her to write a letter to General Ewing stating her request. This 
she did, and Ewing had her brought before him for examination, 
which ended in her being paroled for ten days with permission to 
visit the Torreys. She returned to Kansas City at the expiration 
of her parole and was permitted to live with an old lady, an 
acquaintance and friend of the family, who lived in McGee's 
Addition-. She was required to report to headquarters at stated 
periods, and there she often saw Leland. He sometimes called 
on her at her residence. He had delivered her the papers 
parole and permission to visit the Torreys and she at that time 
sang a number of songs, playing a guitar as accompaniment. 
Her father was a Jew and a fine musician, and she had inherited 
his talent in that line. She always sang when requested by 
Leland and other young men who called on her, and her musical 
talent was soon well known. 

She desired to be released and to go to work at something for 
her support. There was no direct evidence against her on the 
charge of being a spy. She appealed to Leland to aid her, and 
he said he would do what he could to assist her. At that time 
the Templeton & Wildman Theatrical Co., was playing an engage- 
ment at Long Hall, on the east side of Main street, about 
Seventh. Leland often went there, and was acquainted with 
Templeton, whom he told of the musical ability of Miss Van Ness. 
Together they went to see her, and she sang a number of pieces 
for them- Templeton said that if she could sing before an audi- 
ence he would give her a position in the company, but would not 
pay much salary at first. It was arranged that she should 
appear in the regular performance two or three days later. Tem- 
pleton advertised that in the interval between the musical part of 

the program and the farce with which the performance was 


closed, a lady living in the city would sing, but did not say who 
the lady was. Leland desired that she make a success of the 
effort, and he procured a number of bouquets to be thrown on the 
stage at the end of the pieces to be sung, and got parties in the 
proper position to throw them. She was a little nervous, but got 
through the first piece very well, and when the bouquets were 
thrown to her she seemed much pleased. She was applauded. 
In rendering the second piece she did much better than in the 
first, being then completely recovered and reassured. The audi- 
ence called for her again, but Templeton had told her she must 
sing but two pieces, and she was permitted only to appear and 
bow her acknowledgements. General Ewing and his wife wit- 
nessed the performance. Templeton engaged Miss Van Ness to 
sing regularly. 

When General Ewing was given the St. Louis Military Dis- 
trict, he issued orders of permanent banishment against a num- 
ber of people in the Kansas City District. Leland had him issue 
one against Miss Van Ness, that she could go with the theatrical 
company. She was required to leave the District in three days. 
The second night the company played at Atchison, and the third 
night at St. Joseph, which was outside the lines of the District. 

Miss Van Ness later married John Templeton, principal 
owner of the company, and their daughter, Fay Templeton, is the 
famous actress. Fay was put on the stage by her parents when 
but a child, and at the age of eighteen she was the star, and the 
company was reorganized and called the Templeton Opera Com- 
pany. For many years Alice Van Ness Templeton played a lead- 
ing part in the company under the name of Alice Vane. She 
retained her beauty to late in life. After the death of her hus- 
band she married a man of wealth and lives now in Chicago. 

Some months after her engagement with the Templeton & 
Wildman Theatrical Co., it was determined that the company 
would go to Little Rock to fill an engagement there. Permission 
to go had to be secured from General Ewing, at St. Louis. The 
little steamer on which they descended the Mississippi and 
ascended the Arkansas was captured by Confederate soldiers 
below Little Rock. When the pillage of the boat began Miss 
Van Ness bethought her of her banishment papers. She waved 


them above her head and called for the commander of the troops. 
When he saw that she had been banished for loyalty to the South 
she demanded protection for herself and the company, which 
the commander granted, and no property of Templeton & Wild- 
man was molested. 



THAT the Lawrence Massacre was not in retaliation for 
the destruction of the Confederate warehouses and sup- 
plies at Osceola is fully established by Quantrill's state- 
ment of the reasons why it should be accomplished. l This 
statement was made to the captains of the various bands of guer- 
rillas who paid him allegiance. He assembled them early in 
July, 1863, to urge upon them the necessity of destroying Law- 
rence. Captain William H. Gregg was present, and in his 
Manuscript has preserved a portion of what Quantrill said to 
his captains in laying the matter before them. And in this rela- 
tion Gregg says of Quantrill : 

"He longed to get even with Kansas. His proposition was 
to go to Lawrence." 

"He longed to get even with Kansas." Do not forget that. 
Continuing, Gregg quotes part of the speech of Quantrill 
to his captains, as follows: 

He said in part: 

"The Kansan has been murdering and robbing our people for 
two years or more, and burned their houses by districts, hauled 
their household plunder, farming implements, etc., to Kansas, 
driven off their cattle, etc., until forbearance has ceased to be 
a virtue. Lawrence is the great hot-bed of abolitionism in Kan- 
sas. All the plunder (or at least the bulk of it) stolen from 
Missouri will be found stored away in Lawrence. "We can get 
more revenge and more money there than anywhere else in the 
State of Kansas." 

i For a full account and discussion of the burning of Osceola, see 
Kansas Historical Collections, Vol. VI, p. 305, et seq. The account IB by 
John Speer, who visited Osceola and obtained the facts from the people 
of the town. 


Some said the undertaking was too hazardous. On this 
point the Chief said: 

"I know the hazard this enterprise bears, but if you never 
risk, you never gain." 

So, Quantrill won, though the council was long and spirited, 
and his victory was secured with difficulty. The deliberations 
lasted twenty-four hours. 

Notice these reasons. 

"The Kansan has been murdering and robbing our people 
for two years or more, and burned their houses by districts, 
hauled their household plunder, farming implements, etc., to 
Kansas, driven off their cattle, etc., until forbearance has ceased 
to be a virtue." 

Against this, set Aubry, Olathe, Shawneetown, Spring Hill, 
Humboldt, which was twice sacked and burned, and the murders 
and burnings of Bill Anderson along the Old Santa Fe Trail as 
far west as Council Grove. This during the war. Then set 
down the Territorial sackings. 

"Lawrence is the great hot-bed of abolitionism in Kan- 

Against this we have nothing to place as an offset. It does 
not require any offset. 

' ' We can get more revenge and more money there than any- 
where else in the State of Kansas." 

Quantrill had reserved his strongest argument to the last of 
the debate. Revenge and money. Plunder. Loot. The same 
old causes which had induced him to invade Missouri and carry 
out negroes in Territorial times. Revenge was well enough for 
the others of the band. For himself, money, money. And inci- 
dental revenge on individuals who might know too much of his 
past or with whom he had kidnapped free negroes or runaway 
slaves. Money and a general and bitter hatred of Kansas on 
personal grounds. He cared nothing for the array of crimes he 
first enumerated to his captains. Such things would do for them. 
For himself, he kept his own counsel. He carried scars they 
could not see. 

Quantrill had sent spies to Lawrence frequently in the sum- 
mer of 1863. And his guerrillas have told the author that some 
residents of the town had always kept in communication with 


him. Edwards says that Charles T. ("Fletch") Taylor had 
been in Lawrence for some time just previous to the raid. In the 
Kansas City Star, July 19, 1903, there is a long and excellent 
article by Frederic William Hinsey on the events preceding the 
Lawrence Massacre. It gives an account of a visit by Quantrill 
himself, with two of his guerrillas, to Eudora, a town some eight 
miles east of Lawrence. This visit was a few weeks before the 
Massacre at Lawrence, and Quantrill was no doubt making a per- 
sonal examination of the country to refresh his memory as to 
roads, and to see what obstacles he would have to contend with. 
He was recognized beyond doubt, it would seem from this 
account, but not until he and his men were mounted and ready 
to depart. Then defiantly announcing that he had that day 
"fooled the Dutch" (Eudora was settled by Germans) he rode 
away. That he was thoroughly informed concerning Lawrence 
and the country around it for some months before the raid there 
is no doubt. His men, in conversation with me, have impli- 
cated one of the prominent men of Kansas in Quantrill 's designs 
on Lawrence, saying they had seen letters in the hands of Quan- 
trill from him under a name agreed on by them. John Noland, 
a negro, now living in Kansas City, had been sent to Lawrence 
as a spy by Quantrill, but he insists that Quantrill had gone on 
the raid before he returned. 2 

2 The author has seen Noland, but he would not talk. He seems 
afraid he might yet have trouble if he should admit that he saw Quantrill 
after he returned from Lawrence and before the raid. That Quantrill had 
accurate information of the situation at Lawrence there is no doubt. 

The inauguration of the Lawrence Massacre is thus described by 
Major Edwards: 

Without in the least degree increasing or decreasing the difficulties 
of the undertaking, Quantrell laid before his officers his plan for attacking 
Lawrence. For a week a man of the command a cool, bold, plausible, 
desperate man had been in the city through it, over it, about it, and 
around it and he was here in the midst of them to report. Would 
they listen to him? "Let him speak," said Todd, sententiously. Lieu- 
tenant Fletcher Taylor came out of the shadow, bowed gravely to the 
group, and with the brevity of a soldier who knew better how to fight than 
to talk, laid bare the situation. Disguised as a stock trader, or, rather 
assuming the role of a speculating man, he had boldly entered Lawrence. 
Liberal, bountifully supplied with money, keeping open rooms at the 
Eldridge House, and agreeable in every way and upon every occasion, he 
had seen all that was necessary to see, and learned all that could be of 
any possible advantage to the Guerrillas. The city proper was but weakly 


The council of captains to make final plans and arrange- 
ments for the raid was held about the 10th of August. From 
this council the captains returned to their camps to set things 
in order. For some days the guerrillas did little but clean and 
oil their pistols, mould bullets and mend their war-harness. 
Every woman who would make the venture was sent to Kansas 
City to get pistol-caps and powder, and an immense supply was 

The general rendezvous of the guerrillas was the farm 
of Captain Perdee, on the Blackwater, in Johnson county, Mis- 
garrisoned; the camp beyond the river was not strong; the idea of a 
raid by Quantrell was honestly derided; supineness next to belief was the 
most predominant madness of the people; the streets were broad and good 
for charging horsemen, and the hour for the venture was near at hand. 

"You have heard the report," Quantrell 's deep voice broke in, "but 
before you decide it is proper that you should know it all. The march 
to Lawrence is a long one; in every little town there are soldiers; we 
leave soldiers behind us; we march through soldiers; we attack the town 
garrisoned by soldiers; we retreat through soldiers; and when we would 
rest and refit after the exhaustive expedition, we have to do the best we 
can in the midst of a multitude of soldiers. Come, speak out, somebody. 
What is it, Anderson?" "Lawrence or hell, but with one proviso, that 
we kill every male thing." "Todd?" "Lawrence, if I knew that not 
a man would get back alive." "Gregg?" "Lawrence; it is the home of 
Jim Lane; the foster-mother of Bed Legs; the nurse of the Jayhawkers. " 
"Shepherd?" "Lawrence; I know it of old; niggers and white people 
are just the same there; it's a Boston colony and it should be wiped out." 
"Jarrette?" "Lawrence, by all means. I've had my eye upon it for a 
year. The head devil of all this killing and burning in Jackson county, 
I vote to fight it with fire to burn it before we leave it. " " Dick 
Maddox?" "Lawrence; an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; God 
understands better than we do the equilibrium of civil war." "Holt?" 
"Lawrence; and quick about it." "Yager?" "Where my house once 
stood there is a heap of ashes. I haven't a neighbor that's got a house 
Lawrence and the torch." "Blunt?" "Count me in whenever there's 
killing. Lawrence first, and then some other Kansas town; the name is 
nothing." "Have you all voted?" "All." "Then Lawrence it is; 
saddle up, men ! ' ' Thus was the Lawrence Massacre inaugurated. 

Major Edwards in attempting to justify the Massacre recites all the 
murders and outrages that had occurred in Missouri to that date and 
charges them upon Kansas. He goes all along down the line to Cass, 
Bates, Vernon, and other counties. He says that in the fifteen days 
preceding the Lawrence Massacre more than two hundred men had been 
killed in Missouri by Union soldiers. Of course these were all harmless 
and innocent! But he forgets that Colonel Penick, a Missourian, was 
then stationed at Independence, or had been a short time before, and 
other Missouri troops and commanders at Lexington, Harrisonville, Clinton, 
and other towns in Western Missouri. General Ewing, an Ohio man, was 


souri, about four miles southwest of Columbus, six miles south- 
east of Chapel Hill, and nine miles east of Lone Jack. Quantrill's 
immediate followers assembled on the Little Sni, in the Cum- 
mings settlement, twenty-four miles southeast of Independence, 
on the 18th of August. That night they rode to the farm of 

in command of the military district including all this territory. These 
men who were killed must have been disloyal, and no doubt many of them 
were guerrillas who were caught at home. That some were innocent and 
harmless, and their execution murder, there is no doubt. 

And the important matter that he omits, and that Captain Gregg 
omits, is that there were few Kansas troops then in Jackson county or any 
other Western Missouri county. General Slunt was holding the country 
from Fort Scott to Fort Smith, where he had some troops from Kansas. 
The unfair thing in all these attempts to justify the Lawrence Massacre is 
the charging to Kansas and Kansas troops all the outrages committed in 
Western Missouri during the war up to that time, when the writers knew 
that few Kansas troops were in Missouri after 1861. In writing history 
some regard ought to l>e paid to the facts. Also, to the official records. 

In support of the above, there is copied here the list of garrisons in 
the Military District of Central Missouri for the year 1863, taken from 
Bebellion Eeoords, Series I, Vol. 23, p. 891. These assignments were made 
December 31, 1862: 

Butler, Mo. 

Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry, Major Frank J. White. 
Calhoun, Mo. 

Sixth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, Companies B and D, Captain 
William Plumb. 

Gasconade, Mo. 

Twenty-third Missouri, Company A, Lieutenant Ephraim L. Webb. 
Harrisonville, Mo. 

Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry (four companies), Lieutemant 
Colonel Philip A. Thompson. 

Independence, Mo. 

Colonel William B. Penick. Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry 
(tkree companies), Major Thomas B. Biggers. 

Missouri State Militia Artillery (one battery). 
Jefferson City, Mo. 

Lieutenant-Colonel H. L. Burns. Fourth Missouri State Militia Cav- 
alry, Company I, Captain Hannibal B. Davis. 

Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, Company E. 
First Missouri State Militia Battery, Captain Albert Wachsman. 
Kansas City, Mo. 

Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry (one company), Major William 

(Later, Major Preston B. Plumb and some Kansas troops were added 
to the garrison at Kansas City). 


Captain Perdee. The bands from Lafayette and Johnson coun- 
ties arrived the same night. Quantrill assembled the captains 
when they had all arrived, and they discussed the outlook for the 
contemplated raid. Nothing was found to prevent its continu- 
ance, and it was decided to move on Lawrence. 

On the morning of the 19th the guerrillas began their march. 
They spread extensive wings of videttes in every direction and 
moved slowly. This was a day spent in feeling their way among 
the Federal troops in the country through which they were pass- 
ing. The videttes reported every hour some of them more 
frequently. The march was in the direction of Lone Jack, and 
the command was halted at the farm of a Mr. Potter, after hav- 

Lexington, Mo, 

First Missouri State Militia Cavalry (six companies), Colonel James 

Osage City, Mo. 
Twenty-third Missouri, Company D, Captain John W. Moore. 

Pleasant Hill, Mo. 

Fifth Missouri State Militia Cavalry (one company), Captain John 

Saint Aubert's, Mo. 
Twenty-third Missouri, Company I, Captain Marion Cave. 

Sedalia, Mo. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Alexanqder M. Woolfolk. First Missouri State 
Militia Cavalry (four companies), Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander M. Wool- 
folk. Third Indiana Battery. 

Warrensburg, Mo. 

Sixth Missouri State Militia Cavalry (six companies), Colonel Edwin 
C. Catherwood. 

There were some changes in these garrisons during the spring and 
summer of 1863, but in the main they remained as indicated by this 
assignment. Colonel C. S. Clark, Ninth Kansas, commanded the small 
border posts south of Kansas City to Trading Post, with headquarters at 
Coldwater Grove, Mo., but he was a poor soldier and never did any fighting 
he could possibly avoid. 

Colonel W. C. Eansom was brought into the district in the summer with 
the Sixth Kansas and did hard work and much fighting of guerrillas. A 
part of his regiment was at Kansas City. There were a few Kansas troops 
at other points. But the Missourians in Western Missouri had to deal 
with Missouri troops principally in the spring and summer of 1863. 

This is a further confirmation of what was stated in an early chapter 
of this work. It was Missourian against Missourian, largely, during the 
entire war. Lane and Jennison were in Missouri in 1861, after which 
there were very few Kansas troops in Missouri. 


ing spent a day in riding ten miles. All the scouts were called 
in and their reports heard. No enemy had been encountered in 
any direction. Then it was that the final decision to go on to 
Lawrence was made. The men were assembled, and Quantrill 
addressed them, saying, as nearly as Captain Gregg can recall: 

You, one and all, will understand that the undertaking we 
are about to commence is one of extreme hazard. It might be 
that the entire command will be overwhelmed, the ranks deci- 
mated as they have never been before. Hence, I say to one and 
all, if any refuse to go they will not be censured. 

Gregg was at the time a lieutenant and was acting as adju- 
tant and aid to Quantrill. He counted the men and reported to 
Quantrill that there were two hundred and ninety-four, rank and 
file, who responded to roll-call. 

The preliminary arrangements and movements were com- 
pleted at the Potter farm. When all was done and every man 
knew where he was going, the guerrillas were directed to feed 
their horses and refresh themselves with a light supper, which 
they did. Then rang out the command "Saddle up." 

The guerrillas were in their saddles almost instantly, the 
column was formed and the march to Lawrence was commenced 
in earnest. At seven o'clock the next morning they were on the 
head of the Middle Fork of Grand river, in Cass county, four 
miles from the Kansas line. There they halted and remained 
until three o'clock in the afternoon. Then the guerrillas "sad- 
dled up ' ' for the final march to the doomed town. South of the 
Blue they had met Colonel John D. Holt with one hundred and 
four men, and he was invited to take his men, new recruits, prin- 
cipally, to Lawrence and have them "christened." To this Col- 
onel Holt consented, and he was then made third in command. 
He had been to Northern Missouri and was on his way out of 
Missouri with men he had recruited, and had fallen in with 
Quantrill by accident. 

The guerrilla command was further reinforced while on 
the Middle Fork of Grand river by the arrival of about fifty men 
from other parts of the Grand river country and from the 


The total force of Quantrill was made up as follows : 

The original force, as reported by Gregg, 294 

Holt's command, 104 

The Grand river reinforcement, 50 

Total, by official count, 448 

There were doubtless other accessions, making a total force 
of guerrillas of not less than four hundred and fifty men.a 

The guerrillas crossed the State-line at the southeast corner 
of Johnson county, Kansas, where the Fort Scott Military Road 
leaves Kansas and enters Missouri, and crosses one of the head 
branches of Grand river, there flowing some three miles east- 
ward and out of Kansas. At this point a road then branched 
off and led west, passing one and one-half miles south of Aubry. 
At Aubry, Captain J. A. Pike, Company K, Ninth Kansas Vol- 
unteer Cavalry, was stationed with his company and Company 
D, Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. Each of these com- 
panies numbered about fifty men. Captain Pike formed his men 
in line of battle on the prairie south of his post and watched 
Quantrill march his guerrillas into Kansas only one and a half 
miles from his line. He did not offer to attack. He did nothing. 
His actions were strange, for his home was in Lawrence. He 
could not have defeated Quantrill, for he was outnumbered four 
to one. But he knew it was Quantrill, and he could have hung 
upon the flanks of the guerrilla column ; he could have annoyed 
and retarded it. He could have delayed it a few hours, and that 
would have saved Lawrence. But he did not even use diligence 
in notifying the Union commanders of other garrisons. The con- 
duct of Captain Pike was reprehensible in the extreme.^ 

3 See report of General Thomas Ewing, Rebellion Records, Series I r 
Vol. XXIII, p. 580. 

4 The conduct of Captain Pike was severely criticised at the time by 
General Ewing in his official report of the raid. 

Pike tried to shield himself by reporting that Quantrill crossed into 
Kansas five miles south of Aubry. He realized that he ought to have 
done something and would be condemned for his inactivity. If he had 
reported that he saw Quantrill in Kansas, marching west within a mile and 
a half of his garrison, and that he did nothing, he would have been court- 
martialed, as he should have been. Perhaps he did not then know it was 
Quantrill, but it was his business to have known. Captain Gregg's account 
says that Quantrill marched west only half a mile south of Aubry. Aubry 


The inefficiency, stupidity, diffidence, we will not say cow- 
ardice, of Captain Pike made up the first of a remarkably 
strange, untoward, and lamentable series of incidents that left 
Lawrence without any notice of the black cloud gathering on the 
border to overwhelm her. 

Let us consider this column of guerrillas strung out on 
the virgin prairies of Kansas, crawling toward Lawrence like a 
monstrous snake, creeping upon its prey. There were more than 
four hundred and fifty of them, as can be made out from the 
official reports, Gregg's count and the statement of Colonel Holt 
to Hon. H. S. Clarke. 5 Most of them had been in the guerrilla 
warfare of the border two years. Some of them had been in 
the old Kansas wars. These, as far back as 1855, had ravaged 
Kansas settlements by the light of burning 
homes. Bill Anderson had lived on the 
Old Santa F6 Trail near Council Grove 
before the war and had stolen horses and 
cattle all along the Neosho Valley. His 
father met a violent death there in connec- 
tion with a horse-stealing incident. A 
year before this raid he had carried the 
torch along the old trail and burned men 
alive in their homes. He was more savage 
than a mad wolf, and his men panted for 
blood. "When he was killed he had, so it 
em Anderson is said, the scalps of two women on the 

is three miles west of the State-line and two miles north of the point 
where Quantrill entered Kansas. Gregg is in error as to the distance. 

s Edwards says Holt was with Quantrill at the inception of the raid, 
but this is not probable. He had been to Northern Missouri to recruit 
men for the Confederate army and was on his way out with them, and was 
not seeking service with Quantrill nor in Missouri. He fell in with Quan- 
trill after he crossed the Blue, probably about Chapel Hill. Colonel Holt 
spent most of his time while at Lawrence at the front gate of the premises 
of H. S. Clarke; there he made his headquarters. He told Mr. Clarke that 
he had fallen in with Quantrill by accident after crossing the Blue and 
that Quantrill had invited him to come with him to Lawrence to get his 
men christened. He saved Mr. Clarke's life. Mr. Clarke had S. W. Brew- 
ster, Esq., Chanute, Kansas, publish an account of his experiences on the 
day of the Massacre, and a copy of the pamphlet is in the Collection of 
the author. 



headstall of his bridle/ Some of the guerrillas were 
not lost to a sense of justice, but being in the warfare 
felt that they could not afford to be outdone by their rabid 
comrades. These would spare a life if they could do so with- 
out its becoming known to their companions. Many had 
opposed the raid and saw nothing to be gained by it. Colonel 
Holt's men had seen little of war, and most of them had com- 
mitted no outrages and had suffered none. The venomous blood- 
rioters of the guerrilla band were under Bill Anderson and 
George Todd; these panted for blood, 
blood, blood. They lived only to murder. 
Next to these in ferocity stood the bands 
of Younger and Jarrette. Frank James 
had no band never had one but was 
with Younger. Jesse James had not yet 
joined the guerrillas and was not in the 

These guerrillas were mounted on 
the best horses the country could produce. 
It is not probable that many of the guer- 
rillas had horses that they had come by 
honestly. They were the best horsemen 
in America at that time, and as a mount- 
ed military organization perhaps the world has not surpassed 
that band of horsemen led by Quantrill to Lawrence. 

The dress of the guerrillas was peculiar to themselves. It 
was entirely original. It was in a sense a uniform. Its dis- 
tinguishing piece was an over-shirt called the guerrilla shirt. 
This was the garment of all times, purposes, and occasions. 
It was to the guerrilla what the tartan is to the Highlander. 
It was cut low in front, the slit narrowing to a point above the 
belt and ending in a ruflflle-bunch or rosette. This slit was usu- 
ally bound or faced with some fabric of light weight and brilliant 
color, as were the pockets and sometimes the tail. The tails 
might be or might not be tucked into the trousers. Of pockets 
there were usually four of generous capacity one on each 
breast and one on each side below like those in a coat, but there 

7 Border Buffian Troubles in Kansas, by Charles E. Green, p. 52. 

John Jarrette 


Jeue Jamet 

was no strict rule on this point, the mat- 
ter being determined by the whim of the 
owner or the fancy of the maker. The 
shirt was made from any cloth of suf- 
ficient weight that the guerrilla could lay 
his hands upon. Their style admitted 
some variety in cut, and in color they 
ranged from the brilliant scarlet of red 
flannel to the somber, subdued, and dis- 
couraging hues of the homespun butter- 
nut. They were usually made for the 
guerrillas by their wives or sweethearts, 
and some of them were elaborately orna- 
mented with fine needlework and other- 

At the Lawrence Massacre, Quantrill wore a guerrilla shirt 
made of brown woolen goods. 

The arms of the guerrillas consisted principally of Colt's 
navy revolvers of forty-four caliber. Some of them carried 
cavalry carbines which they had captured, a few had Sharps 's 
rifles, and there were even shot-guns and old muskets among 
them. The main reliance of the guerrilla, however, was upon 
the revolver. And the guerrilla was usually a dead-shot either 
afoot or on horseback. Quantrill became very expert with the 
revolver. There has been much said about his teaching his men 
to shoot by drilling them and insisting upon compliance with 
some certain formula or routine of action. He did nothing of 
the kind. He urged constant practice at first, but each man 
could shoot as he liked if he shot well. Quantrill required 
results in pistol-firing, and the guerrilla understood this art 
much better than any other soldier. The powder-charge of the 
Union soldier was made up for him and these charges were uni- 
form in size. The guerrilla made up his own charge. He was 
compelled to be economical of his ammunition. He discovered 
that a small powder-charge enabled him to shoot much more 
accurately than he could shoot with a heavy charge. His pistol 
did not "bounce" when fired, and the aim was not spoiled. 
And the ball ranged as far and penetrated as deeply as did that 


fired with a heavy charge. Every guerrilla carried two revolv- 
ers, most of them carried four, and many carried six, some 
even eight. They could fire from a revolver in each hand at 
the same time. The aim was never by sighting along the pitsol- 
barrel, but by intuition, judgment. The pistol was brought 
to the mark and fired instantly, apparently without care, at 
random. But the ball rarely missed the mark the center. 
Many a guerrilla could hit a mark to both the right and the left 
with shots fired at the same instant from each hand. 

No more terrifying object ever came down a street than a 
mounted guerrilla wild for blood, the bridle-reins between his 
teeth or over the saddle-horn, the horse running recklessly, the 
rider yelling like a Comanche, his long unkempt hair flying 
wildly beyond the brim of his broad hat, and firing both to the 
right and left with deadly accuracy. When a town was filled 
with such men bent on death, terror ensued, reason and judg- 
ment fled, and hell yawned. 8 

8 Theodore Bartles was an early settler in Wyandotte county, Kansas. 
His father settled on the Leavenworth road in that county and established 
the "Six Mile House," for many years a famous hostelry. In the Civil 
War Theodore Bartles was a famous Union scout and a Eed Leg. His 
brother, Jacob H. Bartles, was in the Sixth Kansas; he died at Dewey, 
Oklahoma, which town he founded. Bartlesville was founded by him and 
named for him. 

The author knew Theodore Bartles many years until his death. He 
was a famous shot with a revolver had defeated Wild Bill (Hickock) in 
many a contest in markmanship. He and Wild Bill often scouted together. 

More than once has the author gone to the woods about Old Quindaro 
with Bartles. He loved to shoot. He would fire two revolvers apparent- 
ly at random at a nickel stuck on a tree distant thirty paces. There 
would be but one report, but in the fragments of the nickel would appear 
two holes made as though the balls had gone through it side by side and 
pressing against each other. The mark on the tree where the balls had 
entered would show similar impressions. With the revolver he could easily 
kill small song birds on the wing. He never "took aim," but fired in- 
stantly, seemingly in the most careless and indifferent manner. He has 
often related to the author an incident of the war. He was riding out 
the Leavenworth road one dark rainy night. On the "big fill" he was 
fired on by persons from below in the deep gulch. He saw the flash of 
the gun and fired several times, aiming where he had seen it. The next 
morning he returned there and found pools of blood all about and the 
tracks of men leading to the Missouri river where a boat had been 


moored. It seemed that he had killed or severely wounded one, who had 
been carried to the boat by the others, some of them wounded. 

The author taught a term of school at the village of Tiblow, in 
Wyandotte county, in the winter of 1881-82. The place is now the thriv- 
ing village of Bonner Springs. There was living near that place at the 
time an old Quantrill guerrilla under an assumed name. He was far gone 
with consumption and in deep poverty. The author spent some nights 
"sitting up" with him when he was bedfast and helpless. He often told 
of his war experiences and how he could shoot. Once he rallied and re- 
gained some of his strength. He rode his old white horse one day to a 
point where a telegraph pole stood near the public road. Here he produced 
his Colt's navy and gave the author an exhibition of his skill as a marks- 
man. He would, on his old horse, charge down upon the telegraph pole 
firing rapidly as he approached it, emptying his revolver. The balls would 
all be placed exactly in the center of a crack running down the pole (made 
by the seasoning of the pole) at an equal distance apart. The diffi- 
culty of this feat will be better understood by remembering that these 
"seasoning" cracks follow the grain of the wood and rarely run straight 
up and down the pole. 

He could hit the pole about three shots out of five by firing over 
his shoulder as his horse ran away from it. This man was at Lawrence. 
He denied that he did any killing there, and only admitted that he was 
there after long acquaintance with the author and a promise never to re- 
veal his identy. For strange to say, he was an "Eastern man" and a 
pioneer in Kansas. What mysterious things may happen in bloody war! 


So general was the use of the revolver during the Civil War that a 
brief sketch of its origin and development may be of interest. 

Eevolvers were made by many manufacturers, and various styles 
were furnished, all, however, based on the models designed and patent- 
ed by Colonel Samuel Colt, the inventor of the 
revolver idea. 

Samuel Colt was born in Hartford, Conn., 
July 19, 1814; died in 1862. His father was a 
manufacturer, being largely engaged in spinning 
and weaving silk. The son worked in the silk 
mills under the good old New England rule that 
a boy should work six months of the year and 
go to school the other six months. But he was 
enterprising and restless, and while quite young, 
ran off to sea, shipping for Calcutta as boy be- 
fore the mast on the Carlo. This voyage gave 
him a general knowledge of the world, and it 
was while handling the old bell-mouthed, brass- 
barreled, clubby firearms carried by the 
ship as a defense against pirates, that he con- 

Colonel Samuel Colt, 
Inventor of the Revolver 


ceived the idea of the revolving cylinder containing chambers to be dis- 
charged through a single barrel. He whittled out a rough model, which he 
brought home with him, hoping to interest his father in the manufacture of 
the weapon. But in this he was disappointed. His idea was regarded with 
indifference and something of ridicule, and was believed to be wholly im- 
practicable and useless. His was the fate of all inventors. 

But Colt had the persistency of true genius. He was confident of 
ultimate success. In the years 1835 and 1836 he secured patents covering 
his invention, and in the latter year organized the "Patent Arms com- 
pany," which established a factory at Paterson, N. J. Having adopted 
the newly-discovered percussion cap instead of the old flint-lock, he found 
it hard to bring his weapon into public favor. The criticisms of his in- 
vention proved beneficial, however, and he labored diligently to overcome 
objections and perfect his models. 

Colt's first financial success was in the Seminole War. He took a 
cargo of his revolvers to Florida, where they were enthusiastically re- 
ceived by the soldiers, and their use carried dismay to the Indian bands. 
The savages could not understand how so many shots were fired without 
reloading, and they pronounced the revolver "big medicine." 

The ending of the war with the Seminoles destroyed the demand for 
revolvers. In looking about for a market it occurred to Colt that Texas 
might prove a good field. The surplus stock was sent there and sold, and 
the patriot army put them to such good use that to this day the Texan 
and his revolver are the terror of the Mexican. The independence of 
Texas was due in some considerable degree to the use of Colt's revolver. 

On May 16, 1843, it was the prin- 
cipal factor in winning for the 
Texans a naval victory over the 
Mexican fleet, in honor of which a 
new model was designed by Colonel 
Colt, on the cylinder of which 

Colt'i Navy was en g rave d a representation of 

The Deadly Weapon of the Border the naval battle. This was the 

origin of the famous "navy" pistol, perhaps the most popular and widely- 
known firearm ever made. It was the model used so generally by the 
soldiers on both sides in the Civil War. In the warfare of the border it 
was the principal weapon, and the guerrillas and other irregular forces 
rarely carried any other arm. Quantrill and his men never used anything 
but the Colt's navy, and their superior marksmanship came from the 
mastery and application of its principles. The pride to-day of the sur- 
vivor of the Civil War is the Colt's navy revolver carried by him through 
that period of strife. The weapons were so honestly made that almost 
every one to be found is in good condition and would do good service 
after nearly fifty years of almost constant use. It can be safely said that 
no manufacturer ever turned out an article more conscientiously made 


than the arm made by Colonel Colt, a quality which is still found in all 
the products of the institution he founded. 

Colonel Colt must be reckoned one of the great American inventors. 
The influence of his genius is felt to-day. The lore of the revolver has been 
the principal literature of the frontier, and sustains the prediction made 
by Colonel Colt that his pistol would make all men equal. 




CAPTAIN PIKE reported that Quantrill crossed the State- 
line into Kansas five miles south of Aubry. The point is 
about three miles east and two miles south, following 
directly east and south courses. The original surveys of the 
land show an old road or trail leading west from Missouri 
towards that royal highway, the old Santa Fe Trail. Quantrill 
followed this old trail, then in constant use, to a point about 
two and a half miles south of Squiresville. There he halted and 
had his men feed their horses. 1 This camp must have been made 
on Section 18, Township 15, Range 24. The halt was made to 
enable the guerrillas to capture a Colonel Sims, who lived in that 
vicinity. Sims had been a strong Benton Democrat in Missouri, 
and he was on the death list carried by Quantrill. His absence 
from home saved his life, though the squad sent to murder him 
compelled Mrs. Sims to cook them a supper. The camp was just 
ten miles, by the trail, from the point where the guerrillas had 
crossed the State-line. 

From this camp, when darkness had settled over the rolling 
prairies, Quantrill turned southwest and, in about two miles, 
struck Spring Hill, then a mere village on the trail. 2 There a 

1 The Lawrence Massacre, by Hovey E. Lowman, p. 42. This agrees 
with the Gregg Manuscript, which says: "Dusk coming on, we halted, 
grazed our horses for half an hour, when we resumed our march." 

2 Lowman, in his The Lawrence Massacre says that Quantrill marched 
from this camp in a northwesterly direction towards Gardner. This is, I 
think, a statement made without adequate information. Gregg's Manu- 
script says that the guerrillas passed through Spring Hill, and Gregg has 
often told the author that they went through Spring Hill. In his official 
report General Ewing says Captain Coleman struck Quantrill 's trail at 
Spring Hill. 


few soldiers were seen, but they were not molested, for Quan- 
trill wished to avoid any act which would then alarm the peo- 
ple along the State-line. 

From Spring Hill the line of march was almost directly 
northwest to Gardner, a small town on the Santa Fe Trail. The 
exact route between these points can not be fixed. It followed 
one of a number of trails sprawling over the prairies. The dis- 
tance was about eight miles. 

Most recent writers on the Lawrence Massacre speak of the 
moon as having been full at the time. The full moon would 
have made a night almost as light as day, for the weather was 
clear. But there was no full moon. Almanacs for 1863 show 
that in August there was a new moon on the 14th, a first quarter 
on the 22d, and a full moon on the 28th. On the night of the 
20th the moon went down about 10 o'clock, from which hour 
until daylight of the 21st there was only starlight. In timber it 
is intensely dark in summer on such nights. 

All accounts agree that it was about eleven o'clock at night 
when the guerrillas reached Gardner. Gregg says some Union 
soldiers were seen there, and not molested. The guerrillas were 
under peremptory orders not to break ranks or straggle, but a 
few at the rear fell out of the column. They stopped at the 
well of Mr. G. Rue to get water, where they said they were a 
part of Major Ransom's command on their way from Fort Scott 
to Lexington, Mo., though they inquired the way to Leaven- 
worth. When they were well beyond the town a squad of fifteen 
returned to the village hotel, kept by a Mr. Cramer, and ordered 
a supper, which they ate, after which they exchanged, at the 
hotel stables, two of their exhausted horses for two fresh ones, 
promising to return the next day and get their own.s 

The guerrillas followed the Santa Fe Trail about three 
miles west of Gardner to the point where the trail to Lawrence 
turned from it to the north. There it became necessary to have 
a guide. Quantrill knew the country, but there is found there 
a perfect maze of creeks, tributaries of Camp and Captain's 
creeks, and a false direction followed even a few miles might 
have involved the guerrillas in ruin. A guide was taken from 

3 The Lawrence Massacre, by Hovey E. Lowman, p. 43. 


the nearest farm-house. In thirty minutes he was recognized 
as a former Missourian and promptly shot. Gregg says that in 
marching the next eight miles at least ten guides were shot. If 
a guerrilla found in any guide a resemblance to some one who 
had left Missouri he shot him down. And when a guide knew 
the road no longer he was shot. 

The trail of the guerrillas turned north about Section 20, 
Township 14, Range 22. It crossed the head rivulets of Camp 's 
creek and followed the high land between Camp and Captain's 
creeks some four or five miles. Captain's creek was crossed 
on the south part of Section 25, Township 13, Range 21, and 
then the trail turned sharply to the west, entering Douglas 
county from the west line of Section 26. From that point it 
bore to the north to strike the famous Blue-Jacket Crossing on 
the Wakarusa. There were then few fences and a multiplicity 
of trails leading in all directions, and an exact location of the 
trail at this date is impossible. It can be accurately located in 
certain places, however.^ It passed the Friends' Meeting-house 
in the Quaker settlement west of Captain's creek, and its course 
was by the little settlement of Hesper, still to the west. Beyond 
the Blue-Jacket Crossing it followed the old and well-worn trail 
of the border-ruffians through Franklin to Lawrence. 

Soon after leaving the Santa Fe Trail west of Gardner they 
came to the residence of Dr. Shean. He was on the death roll 
carried by Quantrill. The guerrillas knocked at his door but 
the quick apprehension by Mrs. Shean of the true character of 
the callers saved his life. She directed him to leave the house 
quietly by the rear door, at the same time assuring the bush- 
whackers that he would be down presently. This he did, con- 
cealing himself some distance away in a patch of high weeds. 
There he was sought by the guerrillas, who came near stepping 
on him several times. 

At the intersection of the roads from Lawrence to Olathe 
and Gardner to De Soto lived a Mr. Myzee, a refugee from Mis- 
souri. He was roused to act as guide. Being almost blind, he 

4Lowman says that the only deviations from the main traveled road 
were across curves where distance could be saved. The roads have now 
been generally crowded over to section lines, and do not follow their 
original courses in many localities. 


convinced the guerrillas he could not serve them in that capacity. 
Fortunately he was not recognized by any of the party and was 
not shot, 

William Bentley lived on the east bank of Captain's creek 
near the crossing. He was a private in the Twelfth Kansas, and 
was not at home. Two of his comrades, on furlough, returning 
to their command, were stopping at his house that night. As 
they were giving final attentions for the night to their horses 
the guerrillas came up and engaged them in conversation, soon 
avowing their true character. One of the soldiers instantly ran 
into the brush and escaped with a wound in the wrist ; the other 
surrendered and was at once murdered. 

A mile west of Captain's creek the bushwhackers came to 
the house of William Bromelsick. Living with him was a Mr. 
Klingenberg. These Germans were refugees from Missouri, and 
their lives were forfeit to any guerrilla who might find them. 
The house was surrounded. The men were ordered to act as 
guides to Lawrence. They knew their danger. Bromelsick 
asked permission to tie his shoes, and it was granted. As he 
stooped for this purpose, he blew out the light in the hands of 
his wife, and sprang through the door, reaching a cornfield 
amidst a shower of balls, but uninjured N Klingenberg concealed 
himself under some rubbish, but was soon found and allowed to 
dress. A guerrilla took hold of each of his arms and led him into 
the yard. There, being a man of great size and strength, he shook 
off his captors and rushed to the friendly cover of the growing 
corn with no further mishap than several bullets through his 

Captain A. J. Jennings, Company E, Twelfth Kansas In- 
fantry, lived on the road where it is intersected by that leading 
south from Eudora. He owned a house on each side of the road. 
At that time he was at Fort Smith, Ark. Mrs. Jennings was not 
troubled beyond blustering threats and having to furnish vessels 
for taking water from the well to quench the guerrilla thirst. 

In the second house lived Joseph Stone, a refugee from 
Missouri. In the house was his grown son and a boy named 
Jacob Rote. Stone's house was surrounded and loud knocking 
was accompanied by rough demands for admission. A guide to 


Lawrence was wanted. Here the guerrillas told for the last time 
that they were Union troops. Mrs. Stone was not deceived by 
this misrepresentation, and knew that her husband and son would 
be murdered if once seen by the bushwhackers. But she opened 
the door and began to plead excuses for Mr. Stone, saying that 
the weather was extremely hot and he had worked hard the day 
before and was in poor health. She said that young Rote could 
serve them better, and they were about to accept him and allow 
Stone to remain at home, when George Todd came over from the 
Jennings house and ordered him brought out. Todd recognized 
Stone as the man who had caused his arrest in Kansas City at 
the beginning of the war. This announcement caused the 
guards to leave the rear door and come into the front yard. 
Stone's son now escaped from the house by the unguarded door 
and was soon safely concealed in an adjacent cornfield. 

Todd wished to shoot Stone, but Quantrill said that there 
must be no more shooting, for they were nearing Lawrence and 
premature alarms must be guarded against. Todd took Stone 
about a mile from his home, but finding no means of killing him r 
he sent back to the house for a rope with which to hang him. 
No rope being found, the resourceful messenger brought out an 
antiquated musket. Todd seized this weapon and with it beat 
out the brains of the helpless prisoner. 

The guerrillas entered the timber growing along the Little 
Wakarusa immediately after braining Stone. There Quantrill 's 
knowledge of the country asserted itself and he was suddenly 
familiar with every feature of it, and the remainder of the dis- 
tance he led the way himself, but young Jacob Rote was carried 
mounted behind a guerrilla to be used should any emergency 
arise. At the Blue- Jacket Crossing the crowing of cocks and 
the early notes of the birds admonished the guerrillas that day- 
light was at hand, and the horses were put to the trot. At Frank- 
lin the dawn was riding up the eastern sky and it was light 
enough to distinguish a citizen from a soldier, several of the lat- 
ter crossing the street in front of the command, according to 
Gregg. 5 The bushwhacker behind whom Rote was mounted 

5 Dr. B. L. Williams was living at Franklin. He was up when the 
guerrillas arrived in the town and saw them ride through it toward Law- 
rence. He did not know they were guerrillas, but he counted them. Thej 


asked him if he knew in whose custody he was. Replying in the 
negative, he was told that the command was Quanta-ill's and that 
it was going to destroy Lawrence. 

Day was rapidly breaking over the Kansas Valley. Some 
guerrilla was heard to complain that they were late and should 
"have been hi Lawrence an hour ago." Quantrill threw his 
command into a column of fours and put it to the gallop. Reach- 
ing the summit of the rolling elevations between Franklin and 
Lawrence, Quantrill halted and sent Gregg with five men to feel 
out an entrance to the doomed city. He gazed down at many 
a familiar scene. Here he had kidnapped a free negro. There 
he had burned a house. Yonder he had counseled with his rob- 
ber companions. Along those streets he had walked and plotted 
with stupid Dean. At this point he had been hard pressed by 
Sheriff Walker. Over that glittering river he had brought his 
stolen cattle. And still beyond lived the trustful Delawares 
whom he had wronged and robbed. In that court-house were 
papers which meant prison-terms for his black crimes. Now he 
was come as master, monster, avenger of his own grievances. A 
sense of gloating filled him. He grasped his death roll to make 
it sure. Without awaiting the return of Gregg he signaled the 
advance. The black cloud gathered there stirred and leaped 
forward. With shoutings, deep curses, horrible imprecations, 
demoniac yells, cries of savage exultation it swept down to a 
carnival of death and a gorge of innocent blood. 

were in a column of fours, and he counted one hundred of these files of four. 
There were some scattered along the command, and he estimated the whole 
force at four hundred and fifty, almost the exact number. He heard a 
command "to hurry up; we ought to have been in Lawrence an hour 
ago. Bush on, boys; it will be daylight before we are there." He noted 
that many of the guerrillas were attached to their saddles with straps to 
prevent their falling from their horses when asleep. Gregg says the com- 
mand was thrown into a column of fours at Franklin and put to a gallop. 



WHY had Lawrence no warning of impending doom? 
Why came there no intelligence of stirring activity 
and sudden agitation in the coverts of the Blackwater, 
the Sni, the Little Blue ? And why, after her seven years in the 
very jaws of death, did Lawrence hide her head under the de- 
lusive sands of fancied security and defenceless await the de- 
crees of butchery planned and promulgated by skulking savagery 
beyond the border? 

It was fate ! There come times when men will not see, 
when they will not hear, when the alarm does not rouse them, 
when danger ceases to hold terror for them. In such times the 
senses are dulled, warnings are regarded with indifference, om- 
inous incidents viewed with stolid incomprehension. 

Early in the summer of 1863 the mayor of Lawrence made 
application to the military for a permanent garrison for his 
city. In response some twenty soldiers were sent under command 
of Lieutenant Hadley. This guard had dwindled to less than 
fifteen by the time of the raid, and strange to say, had been 
removed to the north side of the river, under Lieutenant Ellis, 
where no enemy was expected, and where it could not possibly 
render aid to Lawrence in case of emergency. Late in July, 
less than a month before the massacre, General Ewing secured 
information of the gathering of the guerrillas for the destruction 
of Lawrence. A small force was sent out to ride through the 
guerrilla country. It saw nothing and accomplished nothing. 
The mayor of Lawrence had received the same information, and 
for a few days some show of concern was manifest. 

Lieutenant Hadley 's brother, an officer on General Swing's 
staff, wrote him that Quantrill would descend upon Lawrence 
at the time of the full moon in August. After the receipt of 


this letter the town was picketed and patroled for a short time. 
Cannon stood grim and threatening at strategic points. Before 
the coming of the full moon and the guerrillas the town had 
lapsed into indifference. The mayor assembled the guns at the 
armory and permitted none carried away by any of the volunteer 
defenders of the town. 

The gathering of guerrilla hordes was reported to one of 
the border posts on the 15th day of August. A scout said that 
he had just come from guerrilla camps and that the rendezvous 
on the Blackwater was active with increasing forces designed for 
an attack on some Kansas town about the 20th. If this intelli- 
gence ever reached headquarters it was wholly disregarded. 

We have mentioned the failure of Captain Pike to notify 
promptly the posts along the border of the presence of Quantrill 
at his camp and his neglect to take any steps to harrass or hinder 
the guerrilla band. C. S. Clark, Lieutenant-colonel Ninth Kansas 
Cavalry, was in command of the troops of the border south of 
Little Santa Fe (twelve miles north of Aubry), with head- 
quarters at Coldwater Grove, Mo., (thirteen miles south of Au- 
bry). Clark was incompetent, and his report shows that he did 
nothing in the pursuit of Quantrill and very little indeed to 
prevent his escape. 

It is now known (and it was notorious at the time) that the 
force under General Ewing was woefully insufficient for the ser- 
vice required of it. It was deficient in men and equipment. 
These conditions, combined with the incompetency of Clark and 
Pike, produced a military paralysis in that part of the district 
where the highest efficiency was needed. The troops that did 
actually come up with Quantrill saw, while in the public square 
at Olathe, the smoke rise from the fires consuming Lawrence. 

A number .of individuals made heroic efforts to notify Law- 
rence of the approach of Quantrill. Fate stopped them all. 

When the guerrillas had gone from her house, Mrs. Jennings 
determined to send tidings to Lawrence if possible. With her 
servant girl and children she went to the home of William Guest, 
who lived half a mile to the north. Guest would not believe her 
story and she could not prevail on him to go to Lawrence. Henry 
Thompson, a negro, who was working for Guest, offered to go- 


if Guest would furnish a horse for him to ride. This Guest re- 
fused to do. Thompson then set forth afoot to do the best he 
could for the doomed city, and Mrs. Jennings returned home. 
Frederick Pilla, a justice of the peace at Eudora, had been down 
the Lawrence-Olathe trail to perform a marriage ceremony, and, 
returning long after midnight, came upon Thompson on his way 
to Eudora. Thompson soon told his story. Pilla hurried to 
Eudora and cried an alarm. The citizens gathered at the block- 
house and heard the account of the passing of Quantrill. Volun- 
teers to go to Lawrence were called for, and three responded 
David Kraus, the city marshal, Casper Marfelius, and Jerry 
Reel. Kraus was thrown from his horse before getting beyond 
the village limits, but, being behind the others, they did not 
notice his absence. He went no further, and never fully recov- 
ered from the injuries of the fall. 

Reel and Marfelius rode rapidly in the direction of Law- 
rence. It was necessary for them to reach the intersection of 
the Eudora and Franklin roads ahead of Quantrill, and the 
dawn began to appear. Reel was mounted on a fine Kentucky 
mare that he called "Crow" as she bore the color of that swift 
and wary bird. Just as day was breaking the black mare stum- 
bled and fell, her gallant rider under her, crushed and wounded 
unto death. Marfelius got the mare to her feet, moved the un- 
conscious Reel to the roadside, and hurried to a farm-house for 
succor for the stricken man. But by the time aid was secured 
Quantrill was entering Lawrence. Reel died of his injuries the 
following day. 1 

Perhaps the most heroic effort to save the doomed city was 
made by a Shawnee Indian named Pelathe. 2 He rode into Kan- 
sas City near midnight with the courier of Captain Coleman 

i This account is taken from the article published by Frederic Wil- 
liam Hinsey in the Kansas City Star. Hinsey gathered his information 
carefully, and his article is an excellent one. The author has drawn from 
it in the account of the advance of Quantrill upon Lawrence, for particular 
incidents. In a letter of recent date to the author, Oscar G. Eichards, of 
Eudora, says these men did not start to Lawrence until after it was 
destroyed. Dr. Cordley, in his excellent accounts of the Massacre, says 
some efforts to warn Lawrence were made, but ended in disaster. He may 
have had this in mind. 

2 Pe-la-the", the Eagle. 


from Little Santa Fe. Theodore Bartles was at General E wing's 
headquarters when he arrived. Bartles was one of the most 
efficient scouts in the service and a famous Red Leg. He heard 
the story of the courier and said at once that Quantrill was go- 
ing to Lawrence. Learning that no one had been sent to warn 
the town, so far as the courier knew, Bartles raged against the 
stupidity of the officers of the various 
posts. He thought seriously of trying 
to reach Lawrence ahead of Quantrill, but 
when he remembered that the journey 
would have to be made on the north side 
of the Kansas River to avoid the guer- 
rillas, he thought it could not be done. 
When he determined not to go the Shaw- 
nee expressed a desire to try it. Bartles 
had known him a few months, and knew 
him to be a good horseman, a daring and 
hardy man thoroughly familiar with the 
country through which he would ride. 

Bartles took the Shawnee to the Six 
Mile House, two miles west of Quindaro. He believed it impos- 
sible for the Shawnee to reach Lawrence ahead of Quantrill, 
but he was willing that he should make the effort. In those days 
Bartles had the best horses to be found, and he led from the 
corral a sorrel mare, a Kentucky thoroughbred of speed and 
bottom. It was past one o'clock when the Shawnee, heavily 
armed, but garbed as an Indian, mounted to race against fate. 
At first the Indian rode leisurely. He knew the prairies 
and timber-clumps, the streams and where to cross them. He 
kept to no single beaten way. In an hour he was going at ter- 
rific speed. The mare was moving easily in long, regular strides, 
her neck straightened and her nose thrown well forward. 

For another hour the noble animal held her pace, but her 
breath was coming hard, and he thought best to pull her in for a 
momentary rest. 

The Shawnee dismounted, removed the folded blanket used 
in lieu of saddle, and, with a large red handkerchief from about 
his neck, he rubbed dry her limbs, her quivering flanks, her 

Pelathe, the Shawnee 


neck, her head. He led her gently along that she might not be- 
come stiff or chilled. At a pool in the bed of a Stream he 
cleansed her mouth of foam and allowed her to drink a little 
water. Leading her to the summit of a prairie swell and finding 
her rested and much refreshed he replaced the light blanket, 
mounted, and was away. 

The mare soon pushed her speed to the limit. She had found 
her second wind. She moved freely in the long springy reaches 
of the perfect racer. The prairie swam by in the soft light of 
the brilliant summer stars. Miles melted under the steady hoof- 
beats of the splendid runner. Hours were passing. Rounding 
a long sweep of the winding trail he saw far to the southwest 
the black line that marked the broad woodland beyond which 
lay Lawrence, and he knew that if his faithful mare could but 
hold her pace another hour he would save the city. But could 
she do it ? Making a long ascent, she, fell to a slower gait, and 
at the top she faltered. Her flanks heaved and her breathing 
was heavy. She was failing. She had done her best. Her 
wonderful powers of endurance were spent. 

The Shawnee was a man of resource. He was racing with 
Death. No sacrifice was too great if it would but give him the 
goal. Perhaps he might yet snatch victory from this desperate 
extremity. He decided to offer up the noble animal which had 
served him so faithfully. With his long knife he cruelly gashed 
her reeking shoulders. Into the wounds he rubbed gunpowder 
from his pistol-charges. She bounded madly forward for a few 
miles, plunged violently, stopped suddenly, reared, and, with 
a cry of protest almost human, pitched forward dead. 

The Shawnee leaped from the falling mare and sprang away 
on the trail. He ran with that swiftness for which his race 
is famous. As the dawn touched and tinged the sky-line he saw 
far down the dim forest aisles the cabins of the Delawares. To 
alarm them he sounded the quavering war-cry. From an en- 
closure he took an Indian pony and recklessly rode for the Law- 
rence ferry. As the golden sunshine flooded the land he reached 
the goal only to hear the rising roar of battle and find the city 


In the race with Death the Shawnee had ridden well but had 
lost 13 

3 This story I had from Bartles. It was confirmed by some of the 
Shawnees I knew, among them Chief Charles Blue-Jacket. Bartles saw 
him at the State-line on the 22nd of August in the pursuit of the guerrillas. 
He and some fifteen or twenty Delawares under Chief White Turkey 
crossed over to Lawrence by the first boat, which was when Quantrill began 
his retreat. They were among the best of the pursuers, entering Missouri. 
Mounted on their tough ponies, they acted on their own initiative and cut 
off many a straggler. And no doubt they scalped every dead guerrilla 
they found. 

Blue- Jacket gave me the story of the Shawnee 's death. Soon after 
the Lawrence Baid he returned to Fort Smith. In the winter of 1863-64 
he was sent on many desperate journeys, one of which proved his last. 
Some of Stand Watie's band followed him two days, finally coming upon 
him in a rough and hilly part of the Cherokee Nation west of Fayetteville, 
Ark. In his last stand he killed three Cherokees and wounded a number. 



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IN 1863 Lawrence was a city of about two thousand people. 1 
When the guerrillas halted on the elevation overlooking 
Lawrence many of them hesitated in their purpose to enter 
the town. It must be remembered that there was an element 
in the command opposed to the raid and its object, and this 
element included some of the captains. Quantrill had ordered 
Lieutenant Gregg to take five men and enter the city to ascertain 
what force there was to oppose them. "Without awaiting the 
return of this party Quantrill rode along the ranks and said: 

i The principal authorities on the Lawrence Massacre are as follows: 

Narrative of the Lawrence Massacre; by Hovey E. Lowman, Law- 
rence, 1864, pamphlet of 96 pp. Very scarce. There is a manuscript copy 
in the Collection of the author, who also made a manuscript copy and filed 
it in the library of the Kansas State Historical Society. Lowman was 
a native of New York, lived in Lawrence, and was editor of the Law- 
rence Journal after the massacre. The work was published in weekly in- 
stallments in a newspaper. It ends abruptly and is incomplete. It is said 
that for financial reasons the last signature was never printed in form 
for the pamphlet. It is fair and temperate in statement, is without 
prejudice or feeling, and is a full statement of fact. There are a few 
errors in it, but it is by far the best authority on what occurred in the 
city that has yet been published. 

The Lawrence Massacre; by J. S. Boughton; a small pamphlet of 36 
pp., published at Lawrence by the author, without date. 

A History of Lawrence, Kansas, to the Close of the Rebellion; by 
Eev. Bichard Cordley, Lawrence, 1895; contains a good account of the 

Pioneer Days in Kansas; by Eev. Bichard Cordley, Boston, 1903, also 
contains a good account. Mr. Cordley was the Congregational minister at 
Lawrence at the time of the Massacre and escaped with his life, but his 
house was burned. He was one of the pioneer preachers of Kansas, and 
left his impress on the state. He died at Lawrence in 1908. 

Reminiscences of Quantrill's Raid upon the City of Lawrence, Kansas; 


"You can do as you please. I am going into Lawrence." He 
spurred forward, and the guerrillas followed him to a man, 
though one cried aloud: "We are lost!" At the residence of 
Mr. Hanscom, in the southeast part of the city, two of the 
horsemen returned to report. Two men were sent along a path 
leading northwest about a hundred rods, to the house of Rev. 
by John C. Shea, Kansas City, Mo., 1879, a pamphlet of 27 pp. It was 
written as a series of letters to the Chicago Times in the summer of 1875, 
and is exceedingly rare, the copy in the Collection of the author being the 
only known copy. There is a manuscript copy in the library of the State 
Historical Society, made and filed there by the author of this work. 

Life of Gen. James H. Lane; by John Speer, Garden City, Kansas, 
1897 ; published by the author. It contains a good chapter on the Massacre. 

Incidents of Quantrell's Eaid on Lawrence; by Hon. Henry S. Clarke, 
Lawrence, Kansas, 1898 ; a pamphlet of 17 pp. The work was written T>y 
S. W. Brewster, Chanute, Kansas, and describes the remarkable personal 
experiences of Mr. Clarke the day of the Massacre. It is accurate and 
very valuable, and is now quite scarce. Mr. Clarke was a pioneer in Law- 
rence, was sheriff of Douglas county, and a man of force and character. 
He died in January, 1908. The author knew him well and had many inter- 
views with him, one about a week before his death. 

Border Buffian Troubles in Kansas; by L. D. Bailey, Lyndon, Kansas, 
1899. A pamphlet of 101 pp. It is a series of letters written for the 
Garden City Sentinel in 1887, and was published in its present form by 
Charles B. Green. Judge Bailey was in Lawrence at the time of the 
Massacre, and his account is valuable. 

The Gregg Manuscript; by Captain William H. Gregg, written for the 
author of this work and now in his Collection. Very valuable. Has never 
been published. Covers all the Civil War period. 

Noted Guerrillas; by Major John N. Edwards. This work is well 
known. It passed through many editions and was published in various 
forms. Major Edwards wrote splendidly, but his object was to justify 
outlawry and glorify outlaws. He was extreme and unfair, and his work 
was long since repudiated. It was not satisfactory even to the guerrillas. 
It contains the false statements made by Quantrill to the Missourians, 
much embellished and enlarged. 

The Gun and the Gospel; by Eev. H. D. Fisher, Chicago, 1897. This 
is the second edition. The escape of Dr. Fisher from the guerrillas was 
wonderful beyond belief. His book is one of the best authorities on 
pioneer times in Kansas. 

The Kansas Conflict; by Charles Eobinson, Lawrence, 1898; contains 
a page or two on the Massacre. The book was written as a personal 
defense of the author and to defame all who did not agree with him. It 
is full of bitterness, malice, abuse, denunciation, and, beyond the docu- 


S. S. Snyder, a lieutenant in the Second Colored Regiment. 
They found him in his cow-yard milking and shot him. He was 
the first man to fall that day in Lawrence. 2 

At this halt orders were issued by all the captains that 
women and children were under no circumstances to be molested, 
and these orders included negro women and children. 

There were two camps in Lawrence, that of the white re- 
cruits (for the Fourteenth Kansa* Regiment) being situated 
near the center of the block bounded by Warren, Berkeley, Mas- 
sachusetts, and New Hampshire streets. The camp of the re- 
cruits for the Second Colored Regiment, who had been enlisted 
by Rev. S. S. Snyder, was on the southwest corner of Berkeley 
and Massachusetts streets.3 Lieutenant Gregg came upon the 

meats reprinted in it, has little or no value. As an authority it discredit* 
itself and is wholly unreliable. It puts John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, 
James H. Lane, P. B. Plumb, and other prominent men in Territorial 
times and the Civil War, in the same class and sets them down as trick- 
sters, liars, thieves, and blacklegs. 

3 Many of the guerrillas carried lists of the names of men they 
wished to kill in Lawrence, and there was a list made by the officers. 
In some instances the lists carried by individuals were copied from the 
general list. Many citizens heard these lists read off and saw them con- 
sulted when the guerrillas were inquiring for certain parties. 

3 The camps were about three hundred feet apart. In the negro 
camp there were about twenty recruits, most of whom escaped. They 
had not been armed or uniformed, and they scattered at the first sound 
of the firing and escaped general slaughter. The location of this camp 
was given the author by C. L. Edwards and G. Grovenor, May 14, 1909. 
Mr. Grovenor believes all the colored recruits were killed, but reliable 
negroes, among them the late Andrew Williams, of Topeka, say that almost 
all of them escaped. Williams lived in Lawrence at the time and 
escaped by running into the willow thickets along the river. Some thirty 
negroes got together in the dense jungle on the river bank two miles east 
of Lawrence, where they remained until late in the afternoon. Williams 
was there, and he said about half the colored recruits were there, having 
run at the sound of the first pistol and the sight of Gregg's party firing 
on the white camp. 

The Methodist church was afterwards built on the site of the colored 
camp, and it stands to-day, though not used for services now. 

The site of the camp of the white recruits was located by G. Grovenor 
and other pioneers of Lawrence. The citizens of Lawrence have marked 
the site of this camp with a granite tablet on which is inscribed: "Here 
near a Score of Unfortunate Recruits were shot August 81, 186S." This 



camp of the white recruits. Some of them were asleep on the 
porches of residences, and on these the guerrillas opened fire 
while waiting for the main body to come up. The guerrilla 
command rode, northwest across lots to the intersection of 
Quincy and Rhode Island streets, where files left the ranks to 
picket the town, eleven men being sent to the top of Mount 
Oread to keep a lookout for pursuing troops. The lines opened 
to enclose a clump of residences and the two camps. Before 
Quantrill came up with Gregg, a young man (about eighteen, 
Gregg says) in full uniform, with a young lady, both on horse- 
back, came by. Gregg saw this young man killed and the woman 
turned back into the city. 4 

tablet is too far east, being between the sidewalk and curb on the west 
side of New Hampshire street, in front of house Nos. 933 and 935. The 
camp was west of this about a hundred feet, and was a little more to the 
north. H. S. Clarke locates it on the rear of lots 80 and 82, Massachu- 
setts street, which is about the proper place. 

4 Gregg believes this couple to have been Miss Sally Young and her 
escort, but it could not have been. It must have been young Collamore, 
son of the mayor, who was shot in sight of H. S. Clarke, though Clarke 
does not mention that he was accompanied by a young lady. If it was 
Collamore, Captain Gregg is mistaken as to his death; he was wounded 
and left for dead but recovered. The party of Miss Young consisted of 
herself and Steve Horton, and Miss "Nin" Beck and John Donnelly. 
They had ridden to the Wakarusa, it is said, before daylight, and saw 
the guerrillas first near Franklin, but supposed they were Union troops. 
There are various accounts of the escape of the young men, one of which 
says they entered the town after the ladies had gone in and after the pick- 
ets had been placed. They were met by Miss Young and told that the 
town was held by Quantrill. She urged them to ride slowly and 
carelessly and try to get away, which they did, only one guerrilla 
following them a short distance. In other accounts Miss Young 
and Donnelly only are mentioned. They saw the guerrillas when 
south of the city, and when approached the young lady told Donnelly to 
run for his life, which he did, making his escape, though closely pursued. 
He told Shea that his horse saved his life, and that he was chased out 
of two cornfields, someting not very probable. Miss Young returned to the 
city and went boldly among the guerrillas and saved several people from 
death. She was suspected of having been in league with the guerrillas, 
was arrested and taken to Fort Leavenworth for court-martial, but no 
evidence being produced against her, she was discharged. Dr. Cordly does 


"When the guerrilla command arrived at the camp Gregg 
pointed to the tents and fell in beside Quantrill, the two turning 

not mention either of these riding parties in his books, a significant omis- 

No information as to what became of Miss Beck has been secured. 
It is still believed that she was a spy. No account of her after meeting 
tke guerrillas has been found. This whole matter got into politics in 
aftef years, and the following broadside was anonymously printed and 
openly circulated. As it contains the only known recorded reference to 
Miss Beck, it is believed necessary to preserve it. The copy in the Collec- 
tion of the author is the only one known to be in existence: 


Can Lawrence forget the wrongs that were dene 

By men in her midst when the war had begun? 

Shall her envy be buried with her fallen and true, 

And pardon be offered for the traitor to blue! 

Shall Lawrence forget her block-house and gun, 

Planted on her streets, because victory is won? 

Shall the men in her midst who favored the grey, 

Ever by the loyal be favored to-day? 

Shall she give him an office of honor and trust, 

Though all of his friends may claim it but just? 

Shall she give up her honor and favor a man, 

Who fought for slavery, and favored the klan 

That murdered her citizens, and burned up her town? 

And even to-day looks upon Lawrence with a frown? 

Shall Griswold, and Trask, and poor L. L. Jones, 

Lying in their graves, have disgrace to their bones, 

By electing to office a man who was opposed 

To the principles of freedom causing death unto those? 

Shall we trust those officials, and ehct them again, 

Who've acted unfairly in assessing those men, 

Which gave them their office of honor and trust, 

Believing their assessments would be honest and just? 

But assessors have friends the same as had Tweed, 

Who help to form rings to fatten their greed; 

Yes! Friends are quite plenty, yet WALTER and NACE, 

Are trumps that are added to YOUNG who's an ace 

With corruption in office, and with rings to elect 

The DEMOCRATIC BROTHER, who was along with "NIN" BECK. 


Into Lawrence, to murder the friends of the true, 

Be favored with the best which the county affords, 

Instead of a man whose ARM with its sword, 

Was lost in the south in defending the right? 

Shall this be forgot, and so soon lost to sight ? 

No! let us be free from this dirty mess: 

Oh! Give us a clean and unspotted dress: 

We fought for the right and victory we won; 

Let us not forget till the last rising sun, 

The men who opposed, and sought us to slay, 

Because, forsooth, we were fighting the grey. 


into Massachusetts street. The captains led a charge on the 
camp. There were twenty-two recruits, all uniformed, but not 
armed, mostly boys just old enough to enlist. They had not been 
drilled, and it is said they had just called in their guard, but 
it is quite probable that they had not placed a guard. The 
guerrillas rode down the tents, trampling everything to earth, 
shooting the surprised and bewildered recruits. In three min- 
utes, Gregg says, there was not a tent standing or a soldier alive 
there. Five escaped as by a miracle.s H. S. Clarke saw a guer- 
rilla take the flag which had floated over the camp and tie it 
to his horse's tail and gallop away, the flag dragging in the dust 
and being torn to shreds. This man was Larkin Skaggs, killed 
later in the day. 6 One of the boys from the camp reached 
Clarke's house; he had been shot at a dozen times. In the 
street in plain view of Clarke a bullet struck him and brought 
him to his knees. He called out with his hands held up : ' ' For 
God's sake don't murder me, men." A brutal and vulgar reply, 
a pistol shot, and the stripling fell back in the dust dead. Clarke 
saw another boy running from a bearded guerrilla who was 
firing at him every bound of his horse. The little fellow reached 
a house, ran in, and quickly came out on the other side with 
citizens' clothes on; he walked slowly away and escaped, passing 
the guerrilla, who was waiting for him to reappear in his blue 
clothes. Another boy was shot and killed within fifteen feet 
of Clarke's door. 

Quantrill and Gregg galloped up Massachusetts street, 
Quantrill firing to the left and Gregg firing to the right until 
they reached the river. Opposite the Eldridge House, as they 
returned, a man dressed in the uniform of a Federal major 
appeared in the street. Quantrill said: "Get that major." 
Gregg charged after him but he ran into the livery- 
stable fronting south on Winthrop street, near Mas- 

5 Lowman says but four escaped eighteen killed. Cordley and 
Boughton say seventeen were killed. No mention is made of the camp 
by Shea. Clarke says there were twenty-one recruits and a crippled boy 
who worked about the camp, and that seventeen, including the cripple, 
were killed. 

6 There was a high flagstaff at the upper end of Massachusetts street, 
or in that vicinity, on which was a large flag. This flag was also cut down 
and tied to the tail of a guerilla 's horse and dragged through the streets. 



sachusetts street, and closed and barred the door. Gregg 
did not see him again. Having shot out his pistols, Gregg stopped 
in front of the barn, threw his leg over 
the horn of his saddle and proceeded to 
reload, and while so engaged the main 
body of guerrillas arrived in front of the 
Eldridge House. At the camp, when the 
tents were prostrate and the recruits dead, 
there had risen over the roar of battle 
the cry "On to the hotel," in response 
to which the column thundered up Mas- 
sachusetts street, slim files going up New 
Hampshire and Vermont streets to pre- 
vent citizens from escaping from the rear 
of the business houses on the main 

Captain William H. Gregg 


The night before the Massacre there had been a meeting in 
the Eldridge House in the interest of the Kansas Pacific Rail- 
road. This meeting had brought to Lawrence people from dif- 
ferent towns, and the hotel was crowded. 

The Eldridge House was built of brick and was four stories 
high. Iron trimmings adorned the front, giving it a formidable 
appearance. There the guerrillas expect- 
ed resistance. They filled the street in 
front dust-begrimed, bearded, clad in 
the guerrilla shirt, pistols drawn and 
cocked, growling and muttering oaths and 
threats as crackling pistol-shots resounded 
from adjacent streets. There seemed a 
lack of concert of action, and some inde- 
cision. At the sound of the huge gong 
beaten through the halls to arouse the 
sleeping guests, they fell away from the 
building to the opposite sides of the 
streets, supposing it a signal for the in- 
mates to gather for resistance. At that 
moment a deadly volley fired from the 

Colonel S. W. Eldridge 


hotel windows would have saved the town many a life and 
many a dollar. 

Captain Alexander R. Banks was provost marshal of Kan- 
sas at the time and was living at the hotel. He was awakened 
by the firing, and on looking from his window saw the streets 
filled with guerrillas. He consulted with many of the beleagured 
guests as to what should be done. Some advised that nothing 
be done and that events be allowed to take their course. Others 
believed it would be best to surrender the hotel if the safety of 
the prisoners could be guaranteed. Knowing the desperate 
character of the guerrillas, Captain Banks accepted the latter 
view. Taking a sheet from his bed he waved it from his window 
in token of surrender, and called for Quantrill. 

A spare man making a fine figure on horseback rode forward 
as the exultant shouts of the guerrillas rose on the wings of 
the morning. He was magnificently mounted, his horse having 
been taken from Buel at the battle of Independence, a brown 
gelding of fine size and proportions. He wore a low-crowned, 
soft, black hat with a yellow or gold cord around it for a band r 
cavalry boots, into which gray trousers were stuffed, and a guer- 
rilla shirt of brown woolen, ornamented with fine needlework, 
and made for him by some devoted daughter of the South. He 
was sun-beaten and unshaven, but without a beard. In his belt 
were four Colt's navy pistols, and in holsters at his saddle-bow 
were more formidable weapons. 

That was Quantrill, come now to avenge the fruits of his 
own crimes on a defenseless town and an innocent people a 
community he had disgraced by a career as black as midnight. 

He inquired if the display of the white flag meant a sur- 
render of the hotel. When Captain Banks replied that it did 
if he could have a guarantee for the safety of the prisoners, an- 
other shout of triumph rose from the guerrilla ranks. They 
knew the town was at their mercy.? Turning to his men he 
rose in his stirrups, dismissed the greater part of them to over- 

7 C. M. Chase, at that time working on the True Republican and 
Sentinel, at Sycamore, Ills., was making a tour of the West. He arrived 
at Lawrence on the morning of the 22d, and wrote a letter to his paper 
describing the Massacre. In this letter he says: 

A boarder waved a white flag from the balcony and inquired for 
Quantrill, who soon appeared, and the following colloquy took place : ' ' What 


spread the city, ending with this order, "Kill! kill! and you will 
make no mistake! Lawrence should be thoroughly cleansed, 
and the only way to cleanse it is to kill ! kill ! ' ' 8 

Quantrill and some of his men came at once into the hotel. 
He announced that the building would be burned. The guests 
were assembled and systematically robbed both men and wo- 
men. The work of pillaging the hotel began. Guards were set, 
Quantrill taking station otf the second step down the stairway 
leading from the second floor, upon which were the offices, the 
street floor being occupied by stores. There he was seen by 
Judge Bailey, a guest who had just been robbed. A resident of 
the town, one Spicer, was leaning over a banister, talking to him, 
recalling better times and reminding him he was Charley Hart 
then. With a look that chilled further familiarity, he said it 
mattered not what he was called, and Spicer drew away from 
danger. Three strangers refused the guerrillas admission to 
their chamber, and a number of shots were fired through the 
door; one of them was wounded, and they came out and were 

When the hotel had been plundered and the inmates all 
robbed, Quantrill stationed a guard on the stairs leading to the 
second floor and left the building. He secured a white team 
and a buggy and drove about the town, going to the top of 
Mount Oread. 9 Guerrillas began to crowd the stairs and ex- 
press dissatisfaction at the terms accorded the prisoners. They 

is your object in coming to Lawrence?" (Quantrill) "Plunder." (Bal- 
cony). "We are defenseless and at your mercy, the house is surrendered, 
but we demand protection for the inmates."" 

Later, Quantrill said he "was surprised that his men were murdering 
people, but said they had got into the saloons, got drunk and beyond his 
control. He came to destroy the town and plunder its wealth, in retaliation 
for Lane burning Osceola." 

The statement that Quantrill was surprised that his men were mur- 
dering must have been made by Chase on erroneous information, and would 
seem to cast doubt on the account written by him. Here, toe, is the only 
recorded statement that Quantrill said he was destroying Lawrence in 
retaliation for the burning of Osceola. 

Chase was' afterwards local editor of the Leavenworth Daily Times. 

8 Quoted from the Gregg Manuscript. 

9 Told the author by the late Frank C. Montgomery, who was a boy 
and living in Lawrence at the time. He saw Quantrill as he drove about 
the town in this buggy. Quantrill left the buggy and walked about on 
Mount Oread, looking over many a familiar scene. 


had broken open the liquor shops and many of them were drunk. 
The scenes of carnage had made them blood-mad. The guard 
stood true to his orders, but the prisoners began to fear that he 
could not long afford them protection. The buildings on all 
sides were on fire. Captain Banks and R. S. Stevens became 
convinced that the guerrillas would finally murder the prisoners, 
and they sent for Quantrill. In five minutes he appeared, his 
whole demeanor changed. It was apparent that he had repented 
his merciful terms, and that he would not be bound by his agree- 
ment. Perhaps his captains had protested against sparing these 
prisoners. "When he entered he demanded to know who had sent 
for him, when Stevens stepped forward and said he was the 
man. Stevens had defended him at Lecompton for crimes com- 
mitted in Douglas county three years before. He soon secured 
a renewal of the promise of protection. Banks said the building 
was on fire and the prisoners could not long remain there. Quan- 
trill offered to permit them to go into the street, to which Banks 
objected, saying that it would be folly for them to go there or 
any other place without a sufficient guard. Quantrill then said 
they might go to the City Hotel which he was protecting, but 
Banks would not lead out the prisoners until guards were de- 
tailed. The guerrillas present objected to the disposition made 
of the prisoners and fired into them, killing one, a half-witted 
man. George Todd was given charge of the prisoners, and, clear- 
ing the way, ordered them to march out. 

The City Hotel, sometimes called the Whitney House, was 
a frame building on New Hampshire street, south of Pinckney 
street, fronting south and east, and was one block east and almost 
a block north of the Eldridge House. It was kept by Captain 

Nathan Stone, who had often be- 
friended Quantrill when he was 
both border-ruffian and Jayhawk- 
er at Lawrence. He had, at 
QuantrilPs request, furnished 
Dean and Southwick a wagon in 
which to drive to Morgan Walk- 
er's, and neither team nor wagon 

Stone', Hotel, where the Pruoner. were kept eyer came back frQm 


As a member of the grand jury, Stone had told Quantrill of 
impending indictments, enabling him to conceal himself from 
the vigilance of Sheriff Walker. When the prisoners were on 
New Hampshire street a drunken guerrilla rode up and began 
shooting into their ranks, but was driven off by Todd. Soon 
Quantrill appeared, riding upon the left, and in a loud voice 
assured them of protection, ending with the statement "That 
Old Man Stone in times past had done him a kindness, and he 
would be damned to hell if a hair of his head should be injured." 
When the prisoners had entered the City Hotel, a guard was 
thrown around it, and Quantrill established his headquarters 




WHEN the guerrillas were sent from the Eldridge 
House, upon its surrender, with orders to "Kill I 
kill!" they burst upon the town a perfect storm of 
fire and death. A cordon had been thrown about the city and 
every avenue of escape closed. The survivors of that awful day 
said that guerrilla guards seemed to rise out of the ground, so 
quickly and thoroughly were they stationed. The command sep- 
arated into squads and bands, each under its own captain. Fiery 
liquors from plundered shops were poured down thirsty throats, 
and the band became a drunken mob. Demoniac yells rose above 
the crackling of pistol-shots. Hundreds of flags were secured 
from a book-store and tied to the tails of horses on which drunken 
guerrillas rode recklessly through the principal streets firing 
wildly and shouting in exultation for Quantrill, Jeff Davis, and 
the Southern Confederacy. Other bands bent on murder went 
about their business with method and dispatch. Victims were 
sought in homes, in shops, about the streets, in gardens, ravines, 
and fields of growing corn. Terror was carried to every heart. 
Women with disheveled and flowing hair clung desperately to 
husbands or brothers to shield them from the fury of the bush- 
men from beyond the border. Sometimes they were rudely flung 
aside with savage threats to save them injury from the bullet 
that bereaved them. When the deadly revolver was thrust 
between husband and wife she was deluged with blood following 
the muffled report that made her a widow. Fires were kindled 
in dwellings and shops and flames leaped and roared through all 
the streets and ways, consuming sometimes the living often 
the dead. Shrieks of distress and cries of despair could be heard 
above the uproar and tumult raging in the city. Hell was loosed 
and the pent wrath and mad fury nursed for years by border- 



ruffians against Lawrence ran bloody riot in the pandemonium 
of that awful day. 

Of the personal experiences, miraculous escapes, horrible 
deaths, effective appeals, touches of human nature, even ludi- 
crous incidents, a volume could be made from what is preserved. 

Joseph Savage lived three-quarters of a mile southeast of 
Lawrence on the road over which the guerrillas came. He says 1 
they passed his house at early dawn ' ' in the gray twilight a 
sort of heavy dense atmosphere such as precedes earthquakes 
the air seemed ominous and sounds were all audible a long way 
off a murky air. ' ' He was standing in his yard when he saw 
them thirty rods away, but supposed them Union troops, and 
went into the house to bathe his eyes, which were somewhat 
inflamed. A loud knocking on the front door told him some 
one desired admittance, but he waited to 
wipe his eyes. When he reached the door 
a man on horseback was passing out at 
the front gate and he joined his comrades 
just as an order to "double-quick" was 
given. As he turned into the ranks he 
was loudly laughed at for his failure to 
kill Savage, who stood looking at them, 
and they at him. He describes them 
thus : ' ' Low-crowned, broad-brimmed 
hats all alike nearly unshaven 
stoop-shouldered all without coats 
nearly all wore red flannel shirts much 
begrimed with camp-grease and dirt 
saw only two or three guns." Savage estimated their number at 
two hundred. They had thrown away their coats, knowing they 
would get new ones at Lawrence, which they did, making the 
clerks fit them out from top to toe, and often shooting the clerks 
after they had done so. Ten minutes after they passed his 
house Savage saw fires rising about the Eldridge House. When 

i Letter to W. W. Scott, Jan. 22, 1879, now in the Collection of the 
author. There are other letters written by him to Scott in the Collection, 
dated Dec. 11, 1878, Jan. 29, 1879, and Feb. 11, 1879, as well as two cards, 
dated Jan. 25, 1879, and Jan. 16, 1883. 

Joteph Savage 


the flames appeared, it dawned on him that it was a guerrilla 
force he had seen. He harnessed his horse in a hurry, and his 
wife took her spoons and silk dress, and he took his "horn," as 
he was a musician, and they started to the country. A mile out 
they ran into a patrol in the act of shooting his neighbor, he 
crying piteously, and they damning him for running from them. 
Savage jumped from the buggy and by crawling, tumbling, 
sometimes running, he got into a field of growing corn. After 
shooting the neighbor the guerrillas came to the buggy, and said 
they did not want spoons or dresses, but wanted money, of which 
Mrs. Savage had none. They said the "horn" had been play- 
ing for Yankees, they expected, and smashed it by beating it 
over the fence. The hired man, a half-witted German, who had 
been driven from Texas, was made to get out of the buggy, but 
he looked so stupid and so appealingly that, at Mrs. Savage's 
pleading, they spared him, saying he was not worth a load of 
powder and lead. Savage remained in the cornfield until ten 
o'clock when he went to a house and got something to eat, after 
which he went into the city to aid in gathering up the dead. 
This was the saddest work he ever did. Mourning and wailing 
filled the streets and those houses left standing. The services 
at the churches on Sunday were prayers only no singing or 

Savage believed Quantrill better than his men, saying that 
it would have been much worse for Lawrence if Quantrill had 
not been along. 

John Laurie and William Laurie, brothers, were killed in the 
presence of the wife of the latter. They lived on a farm twenty 
miles from Lawrence, and drove to the town in the afternoon 
of the 20th to transact some business there on the 21st. Hear- 
ing the firing they became panic stricken and ran from point 
to point only to find every avenue of escape closed. The guer- 
rillas soon wounded them and both lay on the ground unable 
to rise. The pistols of the ruffians were empty, and as they were 
reloaded, Mrs. William Laurie begged on her knees with her 
babe in her arms that the brothers be spared. Seeing that her 
prayer was to be denied, John Laurie begged that his brother 
might not be killed. William had escaped murder by the same 


band at the sacking of Shawneetown and was recognized by one 
of the guerrillas, who replied to John: "We are not so par- 
ticular about you, but that fellow, we will put him through." 
The brothers were shot to death. Turning to Mrs. Laurie, the 
guerrillas said: "We are fiends from hell; get into the house, 
or by heavens, we will serve you the same. ' ' 2 

The Johnson House stood on the west side of Vermont street 
just north of Henry street and was kept by a Mr. Pickens. It 
was built of stone. The guerrillas surrounded it as soon as they 
came into the city. Some fourteen men were gathered in the 
house. In demanding the surrender the ruffians said: "All 
we want is for the men to give themselves up, and we will spare 
them and burn the house." Some would not believe this, and 
by secreting themselves finally escaped. The others surrendered. 
They were robbed, marched out into the street, and murdered 
all except two, a Mr. Hampson and James B. Pinley. Hampson 
was shot and wounded but fell with the others as dead, and lay 
quite still. The hotel and other houses were set on fire and 
burned rapidly. Mr. Hampson was near them and he was in 
danger of being burned to death. The guerrillas filled the 
street, and he dared not move. His wife was watching near-by 
and discovered that he was alive. In desperation she begged a 
guerrilla to help her carry her dead husband from the vicinity 
of the burning buildings, which he did without discovering the 
truth. Mrs. Hampson put her husband into a hand-cart, cov- 
ered him with old clothes, and pushed the cart along the street 
through the charging ruffians. 

Finley, quickly seeing that he had made a mistake in sur- 
rendering, turned and ran for his life, taking refuge from his 
pursuers in a well or pit in an unfinished building on Massa- 
chusetts street, though severely wounded. As he entered the 
building a man ran through it and was shot by a guerrilla on the 
other side. When those in pursuit of Finley came up they 
asked this guerrilla if he had seen a man, and he replied that 

2 Letter and statement of a sister of the murdered brothers, Mrs. 
Annie Laurie Quinby, to W. W. Scott, dated, Dayton, Ky., October 25, 
1888, now in the Collection of the author. The Lauries were well-to-do 
English people and had recently come to America. In the published lists 
of the killed the name is sometimes erroneously written Laivrie. 


he had seen one and had shot him. Believing this their man 
they pressed the fugitive no further. Finley, from loss of blood, 
became too weak to climb out of the pit, but was found helpless 
about noon ; he died of his wound six weeks later. 

Dr. J. F. Griswold lived on the southeast corner of Indi- 
ana and Winthrop streets, and H. W. Baker and wife, J. C. 
Trask and wife, and S. M. Thorpe and family were boarding 
with him. Five guerrillas rode to thtj 
gate and with oaths and fierce denuncia- 
tions demanded that the house be sur- 
rendered, at the same time bringing their 
pistols to bear on Mr. Trask, who was 
standing on the porch roof trying to dis- 
cover the cause of the tumult in the city. 
Mr. Trask told them that if they would 
not shoot into the rooms where the women 
and children were he and the other men 
would surrender if they could be pro- 
tected as prisoners. Protection was prom- 
Dr. j. F. Griswoid j se( ^ an( j Mr. Trask went into the house 

and informed the others of his stipulation. Trask, Griswold, and 
Thorpe went out at once, and Baker followed as soon as he was 
dressed. The captain demanded their business, which was 
frankly given. They were then robbed and ordered out of the 
enclosed yard to be taken to the Eldridge Huse and placed 
under guard. Coming into the street 
they were formed in Indian file, Baker at 
the head, Griswold next, Trask next, and 
Thorpe in the rear. A guerrilla rode by 
each, cursing them for being so slow. 
They quickened their pace and were 
immediately fired on. Baker was hit in 
the neck and stunned; as he fell he 
received another shot in the wrist. 
Trask 's murderer missed him the first 
fire, and he ran some twenty yards before 
the second ball pierced his heart. Gris- 
wold was not disabled by the first fire, 
and ran toward the house and tried to 

Josiah C. Trak 



H. W. Baker 

climb over the fence, where he was killed, having been hit sev- 
eral times. Thorpe was shot through the body and left for dead. 
The guerrillas left, supposing the 

four men dead, but others were constantly 

riding by on errands of death. When 

they were far enough away to allow the 

wounded men to do so they talked of their 

injuries. Two rode by, one of whom 

observed that Baker was not dead, and 

said to his companion: "Fred, one of 

them d d nigger-thieving abolitionists 

aint dead yet ; go and kill him. " '" Fred ' ' 

rode up to Baker and shot him through 

the right lung. Later, another guerrilla 

came wandering by. He rolled Baker 

over, believing him dead, and thought it 

well to search him for money. Taking out his knife he inserted 

it in Baker 's pocket and ripped the trousers some eighteen inches, 

but found nothing. Turning Baker over, he ripped a like gash 

on the other side. Finding nothing, he took the victim 's hat and 
rode away. These men lay bleeding for 
three hours in the hot sun of a sultry 
August morning in the very presence of 
death. When the guerrillas left the city, 
the wounded men were cared for. Baker 
recovered, but Thorpe died after two days 
of dreadful suffering. The guerrillas who 
shot these four men went into the Gris- 
wold residence and plundered it, with 
fierce and vulgar threats forcing the 
women to deliver the rings worn on their 
fingers wedding rings given by the hus- 
bands lying murdered in the street. They 
were beginning to fire the house, when the 

appeals of the women touched the heart of one guerrilla, who 

drove the others out and saved the building.3 

3 A tablet has been placed to mark the place where these men were 
shot. It is in the parking, near the alley, and near Winthrop street, lot 

S. M. Thorpe 


General Collamore 's residence was a little to the north of 
the Griswold house. It was surrounded before any of the family 
had risen, and there was no hope of escape. General Collamore 
and Patrick Keith, his hired man, descended into the well, which 
was in a building attached to the dwelling. The guerrillas 
searched diligently for Collamore, but he was not found. 
The house was plundered and the women and children 
robbed. Then the house was set on fire. The ruffians believed 
the men were concealed about the building, and watched it burn 
to the ground. The foul gas generated in the well by the fire 
killed the men hiding there. After the 
raiders had gone Captain J. G. Lowe went 
into the well to rescue them, not know- 
ing they were dead. "When he reached the 
deadly gas he fell, and the slim cord about 
his body broke. He, too, died in the well. 
Senator James H. Lane's residence 
was at the northwest corner of Mississippi 
and Henry streets. He had been absent 
from home several days and had returned 
late on the 20th. It was the intention of 
the guerrillas to capture Lane and take 
him to Missouri and publicly hang him 
in Jackson county.* When the raid was 

24, Block 6, Lane's First Addition; is of granite, and bears this inscrip- 
tion: "Here Griswold, Baker, Thorp and TrasTc were ghot Aug. SI, 1863." 

Trask was editor of the Lawrence Journal. 

4 The Gregg Manuscript contains this statement, and Captain Gregg 
has often so informed the author. 

In the Lexington, Ky., Morning Herald, March 27, 1898, there is a 
long article on Quantrill, in which is quoted a conversation had with him 
while he was lying wounded at the house of Wakefleld. This conversation 
is based on the recollections of W. L. Davis, a very worthy and truth- 
ful man who went to administer to the wants of the wounded guerrilla. 
Davis asked him if the published reports of the Lawrence Massacre were 
correct. Quantrill replied: "You want to know why I sacked and burned 
Lawrence and killed all the male population? Well (and here a look 
demoniacal in its wickedness overspread his pale face) it was because I 
wanted to kill Jim Lane, the chief of all the Jayhawkers, and the worst 
man that was ever born into this world. My scouts had located him in 
a certain house in Lawrence the night before that awful day. My in- 

Mayor Geo. W. Collamore 




determined on, spies were sent to Lawrence, and they were 
instructed to report definitely on the whereabouts of Lane, which 
they did, saying that he was absent from the town, much to the 
chagrin of the guerrillas. If they had known he was at home 
they would have planned carefully his capture. At the first 
appearance of the bushwhackers Lane sprang from bed and 
wrenched off the plate on his front door. Then, in his night- 
shirt only, he ran through the house and into a near-by field of 
growing corn. From this field he crossed a low hill to a deep 
ravine immediately west of the present residence of Governor 
Stubbs. At a farm-house he procured a pair of trousers, the 
property of a very short fat man (Lane was a very lean, spare 
man, more than six feet high), a battered straw hat, and a pair 
of old shoes. Of another farmer he got a plow-horse with a 
"blind" bridle, but no saddle. Thus garbed and mounted he 
rode southwest and alarmed the people, having eleven men 
assembled by the time the guerrillas marched out of town. His 
house with most of the contents was burned. Mrs. Lane 
requested the guerrillas to help her save the piano, which they 
consented to do, but, being quite drunk, they could lift little, and 
soon abandoned the instrument to the flames. Many residents 
of that part of the town ran into the field of corn to which Sena- 
tor Lane escaped, and by so doing saved their lives. 

In the vicinity of Senator Lane's house a Mr. Cameron shot 
and wounded a guerrilla, who fell from his horse. The women 
there carried him water, dressed and bound up his wounds, and 
did what they could to alleviate his suffering.s 

Quantrill found Arthur Spicer a prisoner at the Eldridge 

structione were to search that house and find Jim Lane, if possible. You 
know it was just daylight when we got into town. We reached the house 
where Lane had been, reached the room he had occupied, saw his bed and it 
was yet warm, but he had flown. Then the command was given to kill 
and burn, and well did the men do ,ne work. [The command had been 
given long before that]. You want to know what would have been done 
with Jim Lane had he been captured?" As Quantrill asked this ques- 
tion, his eyes flashed fire, it seemed, his nostrils were distended, and 
although unable to move, he looked the fiend incarnate as he almost hissed 
the answer between his clenched teeth: "I would have burned him at the 

5 Lowman 'a The Lawrence Massacre, p. 72. 


*"" .-- 


House. They had known each other when Quantrill was Char- 
ley Hart, the Jayhawker. The guerrilla chief turned Spicer 
over to a squad of ferocious butchers, telling them to kill him 
unless he served them faithfully as guide. If he did this he 
was to be returned to Quantrill, who said he had an account to 
settle with him. They mounted him and bade him take them 
to Senator Lane's residence, which he did, but Lane escaped, 
as we have seen. Spicer came near being shot by the bush- 
whackers at the house of Mr. Allen, occupied by Mrs. Hoyt as 
a boarding-house. His story saved the house as he inadvertently 
said it belonged to her, and Mrs. Hoyt was not molested, as, 
according to Spicer 's information to the bushmen, she was a 
"poor widow woman who kept boarders." His confusion of 
the "magazine" and the "armory" would have cost him his 
life but for the fortunate appearance of George Todd just as 
the guerrillas had raised their pistols to kill him. Todd sent 
him under escort to Quantrill, who then had his headquarters 
at the City Hotel, where he had eaten a good breakfast. Quan- 
trill met him at the curb and ordered him to dismount and go 
into the hotel, which he did. He sought the first opportunity 
to escape and did not see Quantrill again, and the settlement, 
probably the delivery of a pistol-ball, was not made. 

George Holt and J. L. Crane were partners in a shoe store 
in the building of Holt near the Johnson House. When they 
first looked from the windows of an upper story of their store, 
Vermont street was filled with galloping, 
yelling guerrillas, bristling with deadly 
weapons. Escape was impossible. Their 
surrender was demanded, to which no 
response was made, but the squad soon 
left. Soon a single bushwhacker returned 
and offered them protection if they would 
surrender. They accepted the terms, and 
were at once robbed and turned over to a 
second bushman who had appeared; he 
ordered them shot, saying "they have 
been in Missouri killing our people." 
Before they could refute that statement 
they were shot. Crane was killed instantly 

John L. Crane 


and Holt was very badly wounded. The building was plundered 
and then burned. 

At the unfinished residence of Judge Josiah Miller, Cap- 
tain George W. Bell, county clerk, was killed. He had seized 
his gun and come into town from his residence on Mount Oread. 
But nothing could be done in the way of defense, so he threw 
away his gun and started home. It was too late. The guerrillas 
were overflowing the streets from the Eldridge House. He and 
another man ran into Miller 's house and climbed up on the joists, 
where they were shot at by a bushwhacker, whom Bell soon rec- 
ognized as an acquaintance and made himself known to him. 
The ruffian promised to save them if they would come down, 
which they did, but he took them out to his companions, who 
cried out, "Shoot them!" A volley followed. Bell was killed, 
but his companion recovered, though frightfully wounded. 

The business part of the town, both sides of Massachusetts 
street south to Warren street, was burned, only a few buildings 
escaping the torch. The Eldridge House was burned, as was the 
building north of it on the opposite corner used for the court- 
house; the county records were destroyed. South of the 
Eldridge House was the large clothing store of Eldridge and 
Ford. James Eldridge and James Perrine, mere boys, clerks, 
slept in this store. The guerrillas were admitted by the boys, 
and Eldridge was taken by one of them to Ford's house to get 
the key to the safe, which was opened and robbed. Then the 
boys were made to fit out the bushmen with new clothes. This 
done and the place plundered, the boys were butchered and the 
store fired. 

The bank of Simpson Brothers stood on the corner east from 
the Eldridge House. It was burned, as was the office of the 
Lawrence Journal, adjoining it on the east. 

The office of the Tribune, John Speer's paper, stood opposite 
the south end of the Eldridge House. M. M. Murdock, founder 
of the Wichita Eagle, another printer, and John Speer, Jr., slept 
in the Tribune office. When they were alarmed the streets were 
full of cursing, raving ruffians shooting at every living person 
seen. Murdock and his companion ran into an adjoining build- 
ing, in the cellar of which was a deep pit for drainage purposes. 


, \ 

In this pit they hid and escaped death. Young Speer ran out 
of the back door of the office and got to the corner of Henry and 
New Hampshire streets, a block from the office. There he met 
a guerrilla who demanded his money. The boy gave him his 
pocket-book, saying there was very little money in it but it was 
all he had. This guerrilla was Rev. Larkin M. Skaggs, of Cass 
county, Missouri, a Baptist minister who had taken an active 
part in all the raids into Kansas in Territorial times and had 
helped Sheriff Jones sack Lawrence, May 21, 1856. When young 
Speer handed him his money, Skaggs shot him, wounding him 
badly, and left him for dead. The wounded boy lay helpless 
within ten feet of a house which was set on fire by three other 
guerrillas. When the heat became unbearable he implored them 
to move him and not let him burn alive. In response once of the 
guerrillas shot him dead and went on. The fire was, later, put 
out. Robert Speer was seventeen. He and another printer 
worked in the Republican office. The building in which this office 
was situated was burned, and with it Robert Speer and his com- 
panion workman. No trace of the body of either was ever found. 
In indescribable sorrow and the undying hope of a mother Mrs. 
Speer placed the dish and chair at his place at the table every 
meal she ever spread in her home until her death in the vain 
expectation that he might, through the providence of God, be 
still alive and come back to her before the meal was finished. 
William Speer was fifteen. As he went out at the door a guer- 
rilla halted him and asked his name. The boy replied "Billy 
Smith." The bushman produced a list and examined it, but 
found no "Billy Smith" marked for slaughter, though every 
male member of the Speer family was on it. He was allowed to 
go, but being unable to pass the guards, he hid under a sidewalk. 
Fearing detection and death there he crawled out, and, as a band 
alighted to murder a man and burn his house, he advanced and 
offered to hold their horses, which he was permitted to do. He 
was shamefully beaten and abused, but finally escaped, later to 
take vengeance for the death of his elder brother, as we shall see. 
John Speer, the father, lived in the extreme east part of 
town, and was able to get into a field of growing corn before 
the guerrillas reached his house. This they set on fire and left, 



and his wife extinguished the flames. He was collector of inter- 
nal revenue for Kansas at the time, and his office and all records 
were burned, as was his newspaper building and office. He was 
a pioneer editor in Kansas and always bold, fearless, and inde- 
pendent. His residence was three times destroyed by border- 

Judge Louis Carpenter lived on the northwest corner of 
Berkeley and New Hampshire streets. Several squads of guer- 
rillas visited his house, but he met them so frankly and received 
them hi such genial manner that they did 
nothing but rob him and plunder his 
house. Near the time of their leaving a 
gang rode up quite under the influence of 
liquor. They came to murder. They 
desired to know where Carpenter came 
from to Kansas, and when he told them he 
came from New York, one of them said, 
"It's you New York fellers that's doing 
all the mischief, " as he drew his revolver. 
Carpenter ran into his house, and up the 
stairs, then down again, the ruffians after 
him, firing all 'the time. He finally got 
to the cellar badly wounded. There he 
was soon discovered and driven out to the yard where he fell 
mortally wounded. His wife and her sister threw themselves on 
him to shield him from the brutal guerrilla. But he was not 
to be thwarted in his purpose. He pulled the women aside, 
thrust his pistol against the judge's head where his wife must 
see, and fired the fatal shot. They fired the house, the marks 
of which are plainly to be seen to-day. Mrs. Carpenter's sister 
put out the fire. 

Edward P. Fitch lived two blocks from Judge Carpenter. 
He went down to the door at the command of the ruffians and 
was shot, falling in his door. After he was down one bush- 
whacker emptied his pistol into his prostrate form, though he 
was already dead. The house was then fired and Mrs. Fitch 
started to drag her husband's corpse from the building, but was 
forbidden to do it. She was not permitted to take his portrait 


George W. Maddox 


from the wall. She became horror-stricken by the brutality of 
the guerrillas and stood dazed and stupefied. She would have 
been burned in her house had not a ruffian driven her out. She 
took her three small children a little way and sat down on the 
grass. While watching the flames eating their way to her hus- 
band's body she saw a guerrilla go to it and take the boots from 
its feet, put them on himself and walk away. Mr. Fitch taught 
the first school in Lawrence. 

Colonel Holt made his headquarters at the house of H. S. 
Clarke, at what is now No. 1004 Rhode Island street. Mr. 
Clarke' went to Kansas from Jefferson county, New York. On 
January 1, 1860, he was married to Miss 
H. M. Felt, of Worcester, Mass. At the 
time of the Massacre he was in the furni- 
ture business, his store being in the eight 
hundred block, on Massachusetts street. 
His stock was worth about three thousand 
dollars. On the morning of the Massa- 
cre he looked out of an east window of his 
dwelling house and saw horsemen coming 
four abreast, and a boy riding towards 
them. He saw the lines op'en and take in 
the boy. When he was fairly surrounded 
they began to shoot at him and charged 
toward the town yelling like demons. The 
boy was the young son of Mayor Collamore. He was not killed, 
though as many as fifty shots were fired at him. He fell from 
his horse and lay wounded in the road. He recovered. 

Clarke was one of the home military company and had a gun 
and nine rounds of ammunition. When he saw the force was a 
guerrilla command, he thought to join his company and make 
resistance, but at the solicitation of his wife did not leave the 
house. He saw the camp of recruits attacked and the boys killed. 
Two boys, guerrillas, about eighteen years old, knocked at 
the door. When Clarke opened it they presented carbines, and 
Clarke said they need not shoot, as he knew what they wanted 
and was prepared for them. One of them said, "Shell out, then, 
G d you!" Clark had divided his money, reserving 

Henry S. Clarke 


seventy-nine dollars in bills to give to the guerrillas, and giving 
his wife four hundred dollars to hide. When he handed one 
boy the money the other stepped up and asked if that was all the 
money he had, to which Clarke replied that it was. "Every 
damned cent ? ' ' persisted the youthful bandit. Clarke had a few 
dollars in fractional currency which he delivered. They told 
Clarke to get his things out of the house, as they would soon 
return to burn it, but they did not return. 

Clarke saw the guerrillas kill Judge Carpenter and then 
became convinced that he would also be killed. This was just 
as the flames broke out of the Eldridge House, and he could see 
his own store burning. Soon a guerrilla came riding deliberately 
south on a horse which Clarke recognized as having belonged to 
James Eldridge. He seemed in no hurry and carried a box of 
cigars in his hand. Clarke determined to make friends with him 
and hailed him. After some friendly conversation he told Clarke 
that he was Colonel Holt, of Vernon county, Mo., and that Jen- 
nison had burned him out, destroying a twelve-thousand-dollar 
stock of hardware, after which he joined Price. He had been to 
North Missouri to recruit, and had raised a company of one 
hundred and four, mostly boys, and started to join Price. South 
of the Blue he had fallen in with Quantrill, who had requested 
him to go to Lawrence and get his boys christened. 

Colonel Holt gave Clarke a cigar and was invited to have 
breakfast, which invitation he accepted, but had the food brought 
to the gate and ate while sitting on his horse, first requiring 
Clarke to eat of the food to show it was not poisoned. Soon 
others came, and all were fed, as many as twenty being at the 
gate at one time. One arrived after all the food was gone and 
begged Mrs. Clarke to get him something to eat if possible. She 
brought out a dish of cold potatoes, and he fell to with a will, 
saying ' ' how good they are ! ' ' 

A swarthy guerrilla with a gray beard reaching almost to 
his waist came along and aimed a pistol at Clarke, who felt sure 
he would be shot, but Colonel Holt prevented it. One fellow in 
response to a jest said they were only killing the Dutch, and 
seeing William Faxon across the street said, "There's sauer- 


kraut in that fellow," and went over to kill him. Fortunately 
the pistol snapped and Faxon escaped death. 

Colonel Holt rode away when the guerrillas began to gather 
to depart. As he was starting George Todd rode by on a fine 
prancing horse, dressed in a new Federal uniform taken that 
morning from Captain Banks who surrendered the Eldridge 
Hotel. As the guerrillas passed they discussed their work, one 
saying he had killed eleven, another that he had killed eight, 
another, five. Two young men to whom Clarke had given water 
showed him the bright new caps on their revolvers free from 
powder-smoke and said they had not snapped a cap all day 
that they had come to burn and destroy, but not to kill. Two 
men reported that two of Holt's men had been wounded by the 
soldiers on the north side of the river and could not ride their 
horses. Colonel Holt directed that they get an ambulance and 
put feather beds in it for the wounded guerrillas to ride on and 
be at the rendezvous quickly. As the colonel rode away he told 
Clarke 's wife and sister to get him into the house for he would be 
killed if he remained outside. 

Another guerrilla came along with a shot-gun and inquired 
for a colored preacher named Lee. Clarke pointed to a clump 
of houses, which the guerrilla visited without finding the 
preacher. As he returned, Mrs. Clarke asked him what success 
he had, and he replied that he had not found the preacher, say- 
ing, "but that d d nigger belongs to me. I would like to 

find him." 

Clarke saw Mrs. Riggs, wife of Judge Samuel A. Riggs, 
clinging to the bridle of a guerrilla's horse, the guerrilla trying 
to shoot her husband, who was making his escape. 

Among the last of the guerrillas to pass was one leading a 
horse on which was mounted a prisoner, a neighbor to Clarke, 
who seemed despondent indeed. Two guerrillas were urging the 
horse forward by striking it with their revolvers. The prisoner 
said to Clarke that he would never see him again. Clarke said 
to the captors, ' ' I thought you took no prisoners. ' ' They replied : 
"This man has been playing off on us. He has been down in 
Missouri stealing our niggers. He had his cellar full of niggers. 


We are going to make an example of him." Soon a large, 
well-dressed woman came up the street crying, "Oh, my dear 
husband! My dear husband! They are going to burn him 
alive." Clarke tried to quiet her by telling her they would 
release her husband. She then decided to come into the 
house and rest, which Mrs. Clarke feared for her to do, 
as the guerrillas were still passng and might be attracted by the 
loud wailing of the unhappy woman. At this refusal to entertain 
her the woman became enraged, and, with vile epithets, threat- 
ened to report the Clarkes to the Federal authorities for feeding 
the guerrillas. The husband escaped and returned home unin- 

After Colonel Holt had gone, straggling guerrillas stopped 
at the gate, and Clarke narrowly escaped death, but Mrs. Clarke 's 
tact and courage saved him. 

Years afterwards Colonel Holt and Clarke had some cor- 
respondence in which they discussed with pleasure the dangerous 
day when Clarke owed his life to the Missourian's humanity. 

The guerrillas went to the house of a German named Al- 
bach, who was sick, bedfast. They set the house on fire, and the 
women carried the sick man into the yard. When the guerrillas 
came out of the house after robbing it they shot Albach and killed 
him as he lay there helpless on a mattress. 

Houses and lives were saved by accident at the corner of 
Tennessee and Pinckney streets. The guerrillas went there and 
took from the stable of J. G. Sands a pet pony. They were 
followed by another squad, one of whom exclaimed, "Why in 
h 11 are not these houses burnt?" They dismounted and were 
in the act of burning the houses when the pet pony galloped by. 
One of the gang from whom it had escaped called out "Catch 
that pony." All joined in the pursuit of the pony, and none 
returned. This saved the lives of Sands, Dr. Fuller, and B. W. 
Woodward, all of whom lived there and were concealed in their 

Gurdon Grovenor lived on the southeast corner of Berkeley 
and New Hampshire streets. His house was burnt. He saw 

Rev. H. D. Fisher 


Judge Carpenter killed and did not expect to escape himself, 
but he did. 6 

Rev. H. D. Fisher narrowly escaped with his life. He lived 
near the northwest corner of South Park, 
in a brick house. His wife called him 
up and he got to the door just in time to 
see Rev. Mr. Snyder shot. He started 
with his family to Mount Oread as soon 
as they could dress, but was too weak 
from a recent illness to run, and he saw 
the pickets there to intercept him. He 
and his wife and two children returned 
to his home, while the two eldest, boys, 
ten and twelve years resepctively, ran 
on with a companion named Robin Mar- 
tin, twelve years old. Robin's mother 
had made him a suit from a soldier suit 

6 Mr. Grovenor has furnished the author an account of his escape 
and the part of the Massacre which he saw, and it is set out here : 

The raid occurred on the morning of 
Aug. 21st, 1863. It was a clear, warm, still 
morning, in the midst of one of the hot, dry, 
dusty spells of weather common in Kansas in 
the month of August. The guerrillas reached 
Lawrence just before sunrise after an all night's 
ride from the border of Missouri. Myself and 
family were yet in bed and asleep. They passed 
directly by our house, and we were awakened 
by their yelling and shouting. 

I thought at first that the noise came 
from a company of colored recruits who were 
camped just west of our house; thought that 
they had got to quarrelling among themselves. 
I got up and went to the window to see what 
was the matter, and as I drew aside the curtain 
the sight that met my eyes was one of terror 
one that I never shall forget. The bushwhack- 
ers were just passing by my house. There were 
350 of them, all mounted and heavily armed; 
they were grim and dirty from their night's 

ride over the dusty roads and were a reckless and bloodthirsty set 
of men. It was a sight we had somewhat anticipated, felt that it 
might come, and one that we had dreaded ever since the commencement of 
the war. I turned to my wife and said: "The bushwhackers are here." 
They first made for the main street, passing up as far as the Eldridge 
House to see if they were going to meet with any opposition, and when 
they found none they scattered out all over town, killing, stealing and 
burning. We hastily dressed ourselves and closed up the house tightly 

G. Grovenor 


worn by his father, and a guerrilla pursued the boys and shot 
him, his brains splashing in the face of one of the Fisher boys. 
The children became separated, were shot at a number of times 
from a distance, but were not killed. 

When Fisher returned to the house he went into the cellar, 
which did not extend under the whole house. Earth from the 
cellar had been thrown on the part not excavated, and he crawled 
behind that. Four guerrillas came to the house and inquired for 
Fisher. His wife said he had left the house. They insisted that 
he was about the house and went to the cellar entrance, but it 
was so dark below that they called for a light. Mrs. Fisher 
brought a lamp, but they turned the wick down into the bowl of 
oil, and then told her to fix it so it would light. She said it 

as possible and began to talk over what was best to do. My first thought 
was to get away to some hiding place, but on looking out there seemed 
no possibility of that as the enemy were everywhere, and I had a feeling 
that I ought not to leave my family, a young wife and two children, one 
a babe of three months old, and so we sat down and awaited developments. 
We saw men shot down and fires shooting up in all directions. 

Just on the north of our house, a half a block away and in full 
view was a camp of recruits twenty-two in all, not yet mustered into 
service and unarmed. They were awakened by the noise, got up and 
started to run but were all shot down but five. I saw this wholesale 
shooting from my window, and it was a sight to strike terror to a stouter 
heart than mine. But we had not long to wait before our time came. 
Three of the guerrillas came to the house, stepped up on the front porch, 
and with the butt of a musket smashed in one of the front windows; my 
wife opened the door and let them in. They ransacked the house, talked 
and swore and threatened a good deal, but offered no violence. They set 
the house on fire above and below, took such things as they fancied, and 
left. After they had gone I put the fire out below, but above it had got 
too strong a hold, and I could not put it out. 

Not long after a single man rode up to the front gate; he was a 
villainous looking fellow, and was doubly villainous from too much whiskey. 
He saw me standing back in the hall of the house, and with a terrible 
oath he ordered me to come out. I stepped out on the piazza, and he 
leveled his pistol at me and said; "Are you union or secesh?" It 
was my time of trial; my wife with her little one in her arms, and our 
little boy clinging to her side, was standing just a little ways from me. 
My life seemingly hung on my answer, my position may be imagined 
but it cannot be described. The thought ran through me like an electric 
shock, that I could not say that I was a secessionist, and deny my loyalty 
to my country; that I would rather die than to live and face that dis- 
grace; and so I answered that I was a union man. He snapped his 
pistol but it failed to fire. I stepped back into the house and he rode 
around to the north door and met me there, and snapped his pistol at 
me again, and this time it failed. Was there a providence in thisf Just 
then a party of a half dozen of the raiders came riding towards the 
horse from the north, and seeing my enemy, hallooed to him "Don't 
shoot that man. ' ' They rode up to the gate and told me to .come there ; 


would take half an hour. They then robbed the house and de- 
manded another lamp, one of them holding the baby while Mrs. 
Fisher went up-stairs to get it. This they lighted and took into 
the cellar. They did not think to look behind the heap of dirt 
by the wall and did not find Fisher, though he was within two 

or three feet of them. They came up and said "the d d 

rascal has escaped." The house was set on fire and one of the 

I did so and my would be murderer came up to me and placed the muzzle 
of his revolver in my ear. It was not a pleasant place to be in, but the 
leader of the new crowd told him not to shoot, but to let me alone until 
he could inquire about me, so he asked me if I had ever been down in 
Missouri stealing niggers or horses; I told him "No that ^ I never had 
been in Missouri, except to cross the state going and coming from the 
east." This seemed to be satisfactory so he told my old enemy to let me 
alone and not to kill me. This seemed to make him very angry, and he 
cursed me terribly, but I ventured to put my hand up and push away his 
revolver. The leader of the party then told me if I did not expect to get 
killed, I must get out of sight, that they were all getting drunk, and would 
kill everybody they saw; I told him that that was what I had wanted 
to do all the morning, but I could not; "Well," he says, "you must 
hide or get killed." And they all rode away. After they had gone 
I told my wife that I would go into the cellar, and stay until 
the fire reached me, and if any more of the raiders inquired for me to 
tell them that I had been taken a prisoner and carried off. Some years 
ago I read an article in the Sunday School Times, saying that a lie under 
any circumstances was a sin. I thought then that I should like to see 
that writer try my experiences at the time of the raid and see what he 
would think then; I did not feel my lie a sin then and never have since. 

The cellar of my house was under the ell and the fire was in the 
front and in the upper story. There was an outside bulk-head door, 
where I knew I could get out after the fire had reached the floor above 
me. I had not been in the cellar long before my wife came and said 
they had just killed my neighbor across the street. 

Soon after the notorious Bill Anderson, passing by the house, saw 
my wife standing in the yard, stopped and commenced talking with her; 
told her how many men he had killed that morning, and inquiring where 
her husband was; she told him that he had been taken prisoner and carried 
away was it my wife 'a duty to tell him the truth, tell him where I was 
and let him come and shoot me as he would a dog, which he would have 
done? Awhile after my wife came and said she thought the raiders had 
all gone, and so I came out of my prison just as the fire was eating 
through the floor over my head, thankful that I had passed through that 
dreadful ordeal and was safe. 

Such was my experience during those four or five terrible hours. 
Our home and its contents was in ashes, but so thankful were we that 
my life was spared that we thought but little of our pecuniary loss. 
After the raiders had left and the people could get out on the street, 
a most desolate and sickening sight met their view. The whole business 
part of the town, except two stores, was in ashes. The bodies of dead 
men, some of them partly burned away, were laying in all directions. 
A large number of dwellings were burned to the ground, and the moaning 
of the grief stricken people was heard from all sides. Gen. Lane, who 
was in the city at the time, told me that he had been over the battle- 


party left to see that it burned down. He offered to aid in get- 
ting out any furniture Mrs. Fisher might wish to save. She 
asked him to aid her to put out the fire, but he said it would cost 
him his life to do that. She then asked him to get on his horse 
and ride away and she would put it out. He did not go until 
he supposed the house could not be saved; as he left he told 
her the house was one that was marked and would surely be 

ground of Gettysburg a few days before, but the sight was not so sick- 
ening as the one which the burned and sacked city of Lawrence presented. 
The exact number killed was never known, but it was about 150, many of 
them of the best citizens. 

I could relate scores of incidents that came under my personal 
observation, showing the cruelty of the raiders and the sufferings of our 
people; but my story is already getting too long I will only give two. 
The first thing that I did after the raiders left was to assist in "laying 
out", preparing for burial, the body of one of my neighbors, Judge Louis 
Carpenter, who had been killed. Carpenter was a young lawyer, who had 
been married only a few months, and had just commenced housekeeping 
with his young wife in a new home which he had built the previous 
spring. The raiders chased this man through his house, breaking two or 
three doors, and finally shot him in the cellar, but he got out and fell just 
outside the bulk-head door. His young wife threw herself on him to 
protect him, but they raised her up and shot him through the head it 
was one of the cruel things of that morning of cruelties. 

Before I had finished my unpleasant task at the home of my neigh- 
bor, my wife came running to me and called out, \"They have killed 
John they have killed John". John was her oldest brother. Early in 
the morning he had been called to his door by one of the guerrillas and 
shot down as he stood in the doorway. Then they set the house on fire, 
but his wife dragged his lifeless body into the street and sat down guard- 
ing it all those long hours that the work of destruction went on. I found 
her sitting beside her husband's body in the Methodist church where he 
had been carried. That church had been cleared of its seats and was be- 
ing used as a morgue. The dead were carried there until they could be 
recognized and taken away by their friends. The scene that met me as I 
went into that church I shall never forget, and I said then that I hoped 
God would spare me from ever witnessing another like it. Mothers and 
wives were coming in and as they recognized the lifeless bodies of their 
sons and husbands, they gave away to their grief and their sighing and 
moans were most pitiful, and brought tears of sympathy from the most 
careless. I took the body of my brother and his heart broken wife, to the 
house of a neighbor, who kindly invited us, and from there we buried him 
on the following day. A stranger minister who happened to be in town 
conducted the funeral services. My brother-in-law owned and conducted 
a boot and shoe store that was totally burned and all its contents; his 
house and all in it was burned, and all that his widow had left in the world 
was a calico wrapper, in which she hastily dressed that morning. And 
such was the experience of many a wife that fatal morning. 

That cruel raid with all of its loss of life and property, its widowed 
wives and fatherless children, its suffering and mourning, was the result 
of civil war. May God so enlighten and guide us that our beloved country 
may never see another. 


burned. She carried water to the upper chambers and put out 
the fire. Three other guerrillas, drunk and savage, came to the 
house. They were furious when they saw the fire had been ex- 
tinguished, and broke up furniture and piled it in the rooms 
and set it on fire, saying also that it was one marked to be de- 
stroyed and must be burned. Two of them left and one remained 
to see that the fire was not put out. Mrs. Fisher made heroic 
efforts to save the house, fighting the flames until the floors were 
ready to fall in. Then she went to the cellar and called to her 
husband to come out as he would soon be burned alive if he re- 
mained. "When he came up she threw one of her dresses over 
him, took up one edge of the carpet and threw it over him, and 
told him to stoop as low as possible and walk under the carpet 
as she pulled it from the house. In this way he got to a bush 
on which vines had been trailed, under which he crouched while 
chairs and other household articles were thrown over the carpet 
concealing him. Four guerrillas sat on their horses not eighty 
feet away with cocked revolvers as Fisher was dragged from the 
burning building, but they did not discover him. 

Judge Samuel A. Riggs encountered one of the ruffians as 
he left his house. Mrs. Riggs ran out to aid her husband. The 
guerrilla lifted his revolver and Riggs 
knocked it aside and ran. Mrs. Riggs 
seized the reins of the bridle and held to 
them until dragged around the house, 
over a pile of wood, and back into the 
street. Riggs was not yet out of sight, 
and the guerrilla raised his revolver to 
kill him. Again Mrs. Riggs clung to the 
reins and whirled the horse about until 
her husband had disappeared, the ruf- 
fian cursing her, striking at her and 
trying to ride her down all the time. 

Fred W. Read, brother of Mrs. L. 
Bullene, lived on Henry street. He took 
refuge in the upper part of his house 

and looked out of a small window. A bullet struck within six 
inches of his right eye. He concealed himself at once and was 

Samuel A. Riggs 



Fred W. Read 

saved by the indomitable courage of his wife. To no other house 
did the guerrillas come so often as to his. Seven times they 
came, and they set the house on fire four times. The fire was 
put out each time by Mrs. Read. The 
sixth squad were all drunk and with vul- 
gar oaths swore the house should not es- 
cape. One seized Mrs. Bead by the 
wrists and held her while the others broke 
up furniture and kindled the flames anew. 
"When the house was burning fiercely she 
was released and told "to put that out 
if she could." When they left she cov- 
ered herself with blankets and threw her- 
self against the burning windows, push- 
ing out blazing frame and sash; then she 
easily extinguished the fire. When they 
were robbing the house they found some 
jewelry which had belonged to her baby, dead only a few months. 
She begged hard for this, but the ruffian who had it angrily 
replied, "Damn your dead baby, she'll never need them again," 
and took it. The last gang inquired for her husband, say- 
ing, "Where in h 11 is Fred Read?" Mrs. Read told them 
that he had gone East to buy goods. "Where is your store?" 
demanded a guerrilla. She pointed to Woodward's drug store, 
corner of Henry and Massachusetts streets. Consulting a paper, 
he said: "Yes, some one has gone East for that store;" but it 
was P. R. Brooks, not Mr. Read. Mrs. Read then said, "You 
seem to be an officer. Look at this house and that burning store 
and say if you have not punished us enough." He turned to 
his men and said, "Go on ; tell others not to molest these prem- 
ises; this family has been punished enough." He remained 
half an hour on the porch to see that the house was not again 

L. Bullene lived on New Hampshire street. He was a 
pioneer merchant in Lawrence and at the time of the Massacre 
was in the East buying goods. Mrs. Bullene, her children, and 
her sister, afterwards the wife of Senator William Warner, of 
Kansas City, Mo., were at home. Being near the business center 


of the town, their house was surrounded by guerrillas from the 
time they came until they left. George Todd made it a sort of 
headquarters or rendezvous, and ordered breakfast for himself 
and his men. The women cooked as long as there was anything 
left. The guerrillas requested them to taste the food to show 
that no poison had been put into it. One band said the house 
must be burned, but Mrs. Bullene requested them first to aid 
her to carry out her sick mother. When they saw the pale and 
feeble invalid they went away. To another band bent on the 
same purpose Mrs. Bullene said that Captain Todd had ordered 
that house to be spared. ' ' In that case we will not burn it ; we 
obey orders," they said, and rode away. William L. Bullene 
was a lad and did not think of being in danger, and saw much 
that took place. One guerrilla drew a revolver on him and 
would have killed him had not his mother grabbed the pistol and 
pushed the fellow back. He saw the guerrillas kill nine men, 
among them the son of John Speer. This man had the flag, 
taken at the camp, tied to the tail of his horse. He saw the 
officer in charge of the recruiting office escape. This officer first 
hid under the office, but was routed out by fire. He stripped 
off his uniform and ran through the street filled with guerrillas, 
many of whom shot at him. He got into the Bullene house, 
where young Bullene put him in female attire; he remained 
there and was not further molested. 

The residence of G. H. Sargent was on New Hampshire 
street between Henry and Winthrop streets. The guerrillas 
came early to this house and ordered the men into the yard and 
fired the house, but aided in carrying out the piano. While the 
house was burning they shot the men Sargent, Charles Pal- 
mer, and a Mr. Young, a printer. Sargent was only wounded. 
Mrs. Sargent fell on her knees by her husband and tried to 
shield him, begging for his life, but the guerrilla placed his 
pistol by her head and fired a ball through the head of her 
husband. Young fell with the others, supposing himself to be 
mortally wounded, and unable to roll himself away from the 
burning building. He was severely burned before the women 
dragged him away and put him with the dead. He had not 
been wounded at all. 


James F. Legate, a pioneer in Kansas and for more than 
forty years prominent in State politics, was at Lawrence. He 
had a thrilling escape from death, of which he often told. He 
was the first to take the news to Leavenworth, and until his ar- 
rival there General Ewing knew nothing of Quantrill's invasion 
of Kansas. 7 

7 The following account of the experiences of Legate appeared in 
the St. Louis Globe-Democrat shortly before his death: 

Special Correspondence of the Globe-Democrat, Leavenworth, Kan. 

Several articles have appeared recently on "Quantrell's raid on 
Lawrence," but no one can tell a more thrilling story about it than 
James F. Legate, the noted Kansas politician, who was a resident of 
Lawrence at the time. Mr. Legate took a leading part in border ruffian 
troubles during the early territorial days, has served nine terms in the 
Kansas Legislature, and has passed through some exciting times, but he 
considers them tame compared with his marvelous escape from Quantrell's 
gang. It was Mr. Legate who brought the news to Leavenworth of the 
sacking and burning of Lawrence, and he told Gen. Ewing, then in com- 
mand of Fort Leavenworth, the way to head off the guerrillas. Had his 
advice been acted on the outlaws would have been captured before getting 
out of the state. Mr. Legate nearly killed three horses in making the 
trip from Lawrence, and his story contains some historical points about the 
famous raid never published before. 

Mr. Legate is quite old, and is becoming very feeble. He was called 
on at his home on Fifth avenue by a Globe-Democrat reporter, when he 
consented to tell the story, which follows: 

On the night of August 20, 1863, we had a very large meeting at 
Lawrence, in which the people were very much excited concerning the 
Union Pacific Railroad. The excitement grew out of the fact that it 
was asserted that Senator Lane was indorsing the project of building the 
road about three miles north of town. Everybody was very much excited 
over it. During the meeting it was announced by Lane that he had in- 
formation that a rebel spy was in town, but the excitement over the rail- 
road and the charges against Lane led every one to conclude it was one of 
Lane's tricks. The meeting broke up about 12 o'clock. We all went 
home, not thinking anything about rebels or Quantrell or any one else ex- 
cepting the railroad. 

On the morning of the 21st, about daybreak, a little colored boy 
living with me came to my room with much excitement, saying ' ' The rebels 
are in town. " . I said to him ' ' Put on my hat and run to the woods. ' ' I 
got up and dressed and walked out of the house. I saw the town full of 
Quantrell's men, shooting and yelling, giving them the appearance of a 
great degree of ferocity. I put on my coat and walked right down among 
them about two blocks from my house. They were killing three men, and 
I never in my life heard such pleading for a moment of life as came from 
these men, yet I was so stupified that I was entirely unmoved by their 
prayers. I did not dare to run, lest I might attract their attention as not 
being of their number. I turned slowly around, walked up onto the hill 
where John Speer lived, went into the house of a Swede, which was filled 
with frightened women, who had gathered there, and they seemed to be 
of all nationalities. I was asked questions by each in their turn, but made 
no answer, walking straight through the house into the yard in the rear, 


General Dietzler was at the residence of Governor Robinson 
the last house north on the west side of Massachusetts street, 
a block from the Eldridge House. He was not molested. Only 
two guerrillas appeared at the Robinson house and they were 
fired on by the soldiers on the north side of the river and left. 8 

8 F. Luther Wayman, living now in Muskogee, Oklahoma, told the 
author, April 27, 1909, that General Deitzler robbed his father of several 
horses and mules near the beginning of the war. These were thorough- 
bred horses, none but one being worth less than two hundred dollars. 

where there were four rows of corn planted in the lot. I managed to find 
the center row, and I walked through to the fence, got over the fence and 
started on a run like a quarter horse, through the valley to a hemp field. 
Through fright and nerved to the quick, I performed a feat that $1,000,000 
couldn't make me repeat. I made a jump over a ditch about 2 feet wide, 
over a four-rail fence, into the hemp lot. 

About half way through the hemp lot I met John Speer and hig 
deputy coming from his house. I told them rapidly of what I knew, and 
what I had seen, and turned and ran toward the timber. I ought to have 
said just as I jumped the fence a bevy of Quantrell's men fired a volley at 
me, and they seemed to hit everything and everywhere but exactly where 
I was. After speaking with John Speer I turned toward the timber, the 
grass was high, and there were little clumps of bushes. As I ran near 
one of the clumps of bushes I saw a movement and started directly toward 
the clump to see what it was. As I reached the clump I found Solon O. 
Thatcher, afterwards Judge Thatcher, hid in that clump of bushes. We 
were both equally frightened. He cried out "Oh, don't! don't, don't!" 
I jumped back, apparently very brave, and said, "Who are you, or I'll 
put a hole through you in a second?" He, recognizing my voice, in 
plaintive manner said, "Why, it's Solon; why, don't you know Solon!" 

We conversed but a moment. I said that I was going to the river, 
and he followed me. We got down to the river and we heard the clatter 
of horses' feet coming pellmell toward us. He started back for the brush 
and I jumped into the river. They were so near to me I didn't dare 
to go into the river, so I backed up under a stump, under which the water 
had washed out. They came down, and seeing our footprints, waited but 
a moment, discussing what to do. Finally one of them discovered the 
footprints of Judge Thatcher going towards the brush. With a wild yell 
they all started in that direction. 

As soon as they had gone I started to swim across the river. I 
swam, it seems to me, faster than any steamboat I had ever rode upon to 
that time. I was two-thirds over the river when they all came back, and 
they began to shoot at me. Their shots all went wide of the mark. I 
thought there was too much surface to my back to shoot at. I whirled 
over and swam on my back so that I could see them. One fellow got off 

his horse and says: "I can hit that Abolition son of a ." He rested 

his musket against a tree I presume this is imaginary on my part, but 
it seems entirely real I imagined that I could see to the very bottom 
of that gun, and thought that he would certainly hit me. I turned my eye 
to see whether I should float down the river or strike a sand bar. I 
looked back before he had fired, and it seemed to me that when he pulled 
the trigger I could see the muzzle of the gun turn to the right, and I felt 
perfectly safe. The ball struck about 10 feet to my left, as I lay on my 


The actions of Governor Robinson that day are not very 
clear, though he and others have made explicit statements about 
them. In the introduction to his Kansas Conflict, written by 
his friend, Isaac T. Goodnow, it is said, "Even in the terrible 
massacre during the Lawrence raid, and when the Doctor slowly 
retired from his barn to the brow of Mt. Oread, near where sev- 
eral of Quantrill's men were on guard, they did not molest him." 
In the same work Robinson himself says: "He [Quantrill] also 
said, as Robinson, while governor, did what he could to preserve 
peace on the border, he should not molest him or his property. "*> 

9 How peace could be preserved on the border during the Civil War is 
not explained in this remarkable statement attributed to Quantrill, who, 
it is intimated here, wanted peace on the border. What steps Eobinson 
took to preserve peace on the border as "War Governor" are not enumer- 
ated. If Quantrill desired peace he had a strange way of showing it. He 
must have appreciated Robinson's actions, whatever they were, for Eobin- 
son himself says his life and property were spared by Quantrill on account 
of them. 

back, which convinced me that my sight was correct when I saw the move- 
ment of the gun. I had then got near the shore. 

As I reached the shore I looked around and a Delaware Indian by 
the name of Half Moon said to me in Indian, "Give me your hand." I 
gave him my hand and he pulled me out of the river. He wanted to know who 
they were. I told him they were Quantrell's men, rebels. "Well," he said, 
" I '11 take one shot at them. ' ' He had an old Kentucky rifle. He took one 
shot at the crowd and one man fell from his saddle. They immediately 
got off and put the man back in the saddle and slowly moved away toward 
town again. 

I went from there to Old Pechaukee. I found there only the old 
lady, his wife, and the children. They had a horse and buggy all hitched 
up. I asked for the use of the horse and buggy. While she could speak 
English as well as I could, she wouldn't utter a word in English, but said 
to me in the Delaware language, "No, Pechaukee has gone with the men 
and has bade me go to the bottoms with the children in the buggy. There 
is going to be a fight." I said to her, "All right, I want to ride up on 
the hill to see where the fight is going to be. Will come back again." 

I started in the buggy for Leavenworth and made the horse run un- 
til he entirely broke down. It was a very hot day. 

I rode up to where Mr. McFarland, an old gentleman who formerly 
lived in Lawrence, was making hay, and he had a very fine-appearing horse 
hitched to the fence. He said, "Yes, sir, he is one of the finest buggy 
horses in the territory." I said to him, "I want to try him," and then 
stripped the harness off of the Indian's horse and put McFarland 's horse 
in the buggy. I did it so quickly the old gentleman was much surprised 
and somewhat alarmed. I left him on a dead run. His son followed me 
to Nine-mile Creek. When his son overtook me and I told him the story he 
said, "All right, go ahead." 

That horse broke down, or so near broke down that I rode up to 
the stage stable. There was a stage stable at Nine-mile Creek. I went 


Dr. Kellogg was led around for an hour by t* 
whokept cocked revolvers at Ins ears ^aU the t^ .^^ . f ^ 

to be Wed, but made up J ""T^J to the best liquor-shops 
sible. C* their order lie guid m ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ 

and stores, r^JHS toX^leased and told to go. He 
of his neighb^s. ^ buggy 

^Tcooly and 3? ed * e rta j? fSd I walked in SS unhitched the 
horse/He pointed^ a horse to me a ^ out with a club 

horse and took him out; ^In?" "I mean to swap horses." He began 
and said, "What do yuV"fl rev olver that I carried through the Kaw 
to show fight and I drew byg % told him to change the harness s, no. ne 
River, but he didn't know it.'xfcro.was hitched to the buggy I jump i 
complied. As soon as the horse -^ ^a I wa nt to get to Leavenwortn. 
and said, "The rebels are in Lawrencty, j. 
I'U bring your horse back." ^~ a. bring me from there to t 

I came on as fast as that horse could Brown's stable; they wer< 
city. I stopped at Col. Jennison's or Jim tJ- -ory and asked for < 
both together then. I told him rapidly the stWwing, telling the story 
Ewing. He went post-haste to the fort for Gen. E^ House to see me. 
up there. Gen. Ewing came in person to the Planter ^ m 'l four miles from 

I said to him that I had rode up on to the hiS ",! saw it all on 
Lawrence, and that evidently the town was burned, foF a v e exception 
fire. I said to him the whole border was guarded with ih * would press 
one place about ten miles south of Kansas City; that if he^^d take * 
into the service three steamboats that lay at the wharf here a\ ,V 
men to Kansas City he could intercept the entire gang. s,. itry and 

He said that he thought that he could go across the cou'iL ^y^ * 
intercept them better. So he started across the country by the \ 
De Soto, thinking that he could intercept them in that way. It 
long march, though a forced one, and he simply got behind them, and 
them out of the state, without harm to any of them. 

In the middle or some time in the night of August 21 there 
word from Lawrence that everything was burned up, with about 100 
sons dead, without a coffin to bury them in. Early on the morning of 
22d every coffin in this town was taken, about 100 of them, in two wa: 
loads, and started for Lawrence. Gov. Carney, Nelson McCracken, L. T.the 
Smith, and some others got together and made a donation of about $1500 ell 
in groceries and provisions, and started that to Lawrence. 

Gov. Carney and myself, in his team, drove over. We found the T 
town almost absolutely destroyed, most of the prominent men killed, and the > 
stories of escape were wonderful. ... \ 

George W. Collamore was Mayor of the city. His house was surround- 
ed, and, believing it was death to show himself, he was lowered into the 
well by his wife, and when the rebels had gone they found he was dead. 

They went to my house and set it on fire. My wife pleaded with 
them, told them she was a widow, and it was all she had in the world, and 
she didn't want them to burn it up. Nellie, my daughter, who was little 
more than a year old, grabbed around the leg of one of the men and 
said: "You won't kill my papa, will you?" 

There was an old colored woman who had two children, a little boy 
and girl. The little boy ran up to see the Free State Hotel burned, and 
one of the men grabbed and threw him into the flames. 

Quantrell, as we knew him, lived there by the name of Charley Hart, 


said the first breaths he drew after his release were worth one 
thousand dollars each. 

One man saved his house and his life by payment of one 
thousand dollars. Another paid a thousand dollars for his life, 
but another guerrilla shot him. A woman wrote on a card in 
large letters the word "Southern" and nailed it above her door 
and saved her house. A young man and wife from Illinois were 
stopping at the Johnson House. He saw no chance to escape 
except to jump from a second-story window, which he did, just 
as two guerrillas came around the corner. They seized him and 
took him behind the building where they robbed and shot him. 10 

Robert Morrow and James Blood lived near Mount Oread, 
up which they went before the guards were placed, escaping all 
harm. Mrs. Morrow saved the houses of both families, putting 
out fires as often as they were set. 

William Hazeltine owned a grocery store above which he 
lived. He did not see the guerrillas until they had filled the 
street in front of his store. His only chance of escape was by 
running out at the rear door, which he did, crossing Vermont 
street and aiming for a ravine to the west. He was shot at a dozen 
times, and at the edge of the ravine stumbled and fell. The 

and made his personal headquarters at the Lawrence Hotel kept by Mr. 
Stone. Quantrell guarded the hotel, and had it surrounded. Quantrell 
had a long fit of sickness there, and was tenderly nursed by the Stone 
family. Some of his men killed the old gentleman. 

I knew Quantrell quite well when he lived in Lawrence under the 
name of Charles Hart. I was going East at the time he was sick at the 
hotel. I visited him, and left him $10 to buy medicine with. He was 
known among us as a noted Abolitionist from Ohio. He planned raids into 
Missouri to steal negroes. There was a band formed, of which he was the 
leader, for that purpose. They made several raids into Missouri, and 
brought to Lawrence quite a number of slaves that were shipped on to 
Canada. Finally he made an arrangement for another raid into Missouri. 
Under the pretense of reconnoitering he went to a farm house near In- 
dependence, and selected the spot, told the man they were coming to steal 
his negroes that night. He said they were a gang of desperate Abolitionists 
from Lawrence. True to what he said, a band of fellows from Lawrence 
went there, and the farmer was well supplied with help. Four of them 
were badly wounded, and five of them escaped. From that hour Charley 
Hart became Quantrell, which was his real name, and soon became the 
leader of the most desperate outlaws in Western Missouri. 

10 Letter of C. M. Chase to the True Republican and Sentinel, dated 
Lawrence, Kansas, August 22, 1863. The above instances, including the ac- 
count of Dr. Kellogg, are given on his authority. 


guerrillas supposed he fell from a shot and did not molest him 
further. He was unhurt and escaped. 

The livery stable near the northeast corner of Winthrop and 
Massachusetts streets was owned by the Willis Brothers. It was 
one of the first buildings set on fire. Walter Willis and E. V. 
Banks started to Leaven worth before the guerrillas entered the 
city, and escaped. John Frawley, who worked at the stable, was 
shot and his body burned in the barn. 

John Bergen was wounded and captured. He and six 
other prisoners were shot all killed except Bergen, who was 
badly wounded and feigned death. This was discovered and a 
guerrilla shot at him, the ball grazing his head, which he dropped 
as though shot. His head was now partly under the body of a 
dead man. His mother came and began to wash his face, be- 
lieving him dead, but he entreated her to leave him, as the guer- 
rillas would return and kill him certainly if they discovered him 
to be alive. 

A man named Winchell ran into the house of Dr. Charles 
Reynolds, where the ladies hurriedly attired him as a female, 
first having shaved off a bushy beard. A cap of ancient style 
was put on his head, and he was placed by a small table on which 
were spoons and medicine-bottles. A serious and acrid lady 
was appointed to fan him and revive his drooping spirits. When 
the ruffians arrived they were told that whatever they desired 
they might take, but were requested to be as easy and quiet as 
possible so as not to disturb "Poor Aunt Betsy." The remnant 
of the bristling beard caused some misgivings in the suspicious 
minds of the denizens of the Sni as to the genuineness of the 
sex assumed by "Aunt Betsy," but they did not investigate be- 
yond furtive glances, and Mr. Winchell escaped with his life. 

A sort of blind cellar east of the Johnson House proved a 
refuge for a dozen men hard pressed by ruffians. A woman first 
thought of hiding her husband there. It was outside a wall, and 
the dilapidated entrance gave no promise of the capacious cav- 
ern twenty feet back. Taking post in the vicinity, the lady di- 
rected fugitives to the underground retreat. Seeing their vic- 
tims disappear in the patch of tall jimson weeds surrounding 


the cave, the ruffians demanded to know what became of them 
and were told they were lying concealed in the weeds. A cautious 
tramping failed to flush the game, when the woman was threat- 
ened with death if she did not reveal the hiding-place. But she 
bravely told them to shoot if they wanted to, which they did not 
do, and the men were saved. 

The Rev. Michael Hummer had been driven from Topeka 
by a lawless combination of one A. A. Ward, the Topeka Town 
Company, and the notorious Edwards Brothers, border-ruffians, 
who were afterwards lynched for their crimes. Mr. Hummer was 
a Presbyterian minister of the hardy stock which settled the 
Shenandoah Valley, and after his outrageous treatment at 
Topeka, he settled in Lawrence. When the revelry of death was 
at its height he appeared in the streets, and, like a prophet of 
old, proclaimed himself a preacher and called on the guerrillas 
to desist "in the name of Jesus Christ." His boldness amazed 
the ruffians. He told them he was a Virginian and sympathized 
with the South, but condemned violence and murder under guise 
of civilized war. He saved a number of men from death. Finally 
the guerrillas warned him to get indoors or suffer the conse- 
quences. A poor German came at that instant sore beset and 
bleeding from wounds. Hummer threw himself between the 
monsters and their prey and was wounded and left for dead. 
The German was killed and his body burned to a shapeless mass 
by the fire of an adjacent building. 11 

The guerrillas at no time in Lawrence showed bravery or 
daring. Those who fought them fared best and usually escaped. 
Captain William A. Rankin and Lieutenant John K. Rankin, 
cousins, were at home on furlough. They had gone forth for a 
walk early in the morning and saw the guerrillas enter the 
town. They drew their revolvers and started home. Turning a 
corner, they saw two guerrillas trying to shoot a man in his door- 
yard. As they ran to the rescue four more bushmen rode up 
and all began firing. One ruffian aimed deliberately at Captain 

ii Mr. Hummer moved to Old Wyandotte, where he lived until hi* 
death. He often recounted to the author the dreadful experiences of that 
awful Friday in Lawrence. 


Rankin and would have killed him had not the ball struck the 
Captain's revolver. Some of the guerrillas were wounded but 
none were killed. The Rankins soon had the field to themselves 
and escaped unhurt. And it was well for them that the bush- 
whackers left when they did, for their ammunition had given 

Captain Wilder lived near the intersection of Winthrop and 
Kentucky streets. His house was of stone, the shutters were 
closed, and the curtains dropped. The guerrillas rode around 
this house several times, taking care to keep at a good distance, 
but they never once attempted to molest it. 

The residence of a Mr. Allen was a large brick house on 
Kentucky street. When the guerrillas arrived there they found 
him in and armed with a pistol. Four guerrillas knocked roughly 
at his door and demanded admittance, threatening to kill all the 
inmates if resistance was offered, but making the usual promise 
that no one should be hurt if the door was opened and prompt 
surrender made. Mr. Allen was quite old, but full of courage 
and resolution. He told the guerrillas to come on in if they 
could get in, assuring them that he was good for at least six 
ruffians as soon as they might enter. The bushwhackers left 
and no others ever returned. 

Lieutenant Ellis was in command of the soldiers stationed 
on the north side of the river, but boarded at the Eastern House, 
just across from the livery stable near the corner of Massa- 
chusetts and Winthrop streets. A ridiculous ordinance forbid 
one to be armed in the city, so he was without his pistols. When 
he looked from his window the street was full of cursing, raving 
bushmen on guard or riding swiftly in pursuit of any citizen 
who might show himself. The house was surrounded and escape 
seemed impossible. His only chance was in bold action. Dressed 
in his uniform he dashed into the street among them. He seized 
bridles and whirled horses about, dodged from one to another, 
ran when he could, and shielded himself from one guerrilla be- 
hind another. He reached the stable in a shower of pistol-balls, 
ran through the carriage room to the first tier of stalls, sprang 
to the top of a partition and into the loft, his pursuers firing at 
him all the time, killing the horse in the stall from which he 


went aloft. They ordered him to come down, assuring him that 
he would not be hurt if he surrendered. But he knew better. 
Arming himself with a piece of scantling he stood guard at the 
hole by which he had climbed up and dared any bushwhacker 
to show his head above the floor. None came. The barn was 
soon set on fire, and while the guerrillas were watching the upper 
exits he came down and slipped out of the rear door, from which 
he dodged from one cover to another until he reached the garden 
of Mrs. Leis across the alley west of the City Hotel. There he 
hid in the rank weeds and remained until the guerrillas left the 
city. He had the holes of seven balls in his clothes but was not 

The foregoing comprise only some of the experiences of the 
people of Lawrence on that terrible day. Instances could be 
set out indefinitely, but enough has been given to show con- 
clusively the actions of the guerrillas that there was nothing 
soldierly in their course. It was atrocious murder, arson, rob- 
bery, pillage inexcusable savagery. 




A LITTLE before nine o'clock the lookout on Mount Oread 
descried the column of Union troops under Major 
Plumb far to the east as it emerged from the timber 
bordering Captain's creek. "With hot haste he spurred down the 
steeps to notify the guerrilla chieftain that pursuers were hard 
upon the trail. Quantrill called together his captains, and it 
was soon decided to leave the city at once. Orders were sent 
out for the guerrillas to assemble just east of South Park. Cap- 
tain Gregg was given twenty men with which to gather up strag- 
glers and bring them out. He anticipated trouble, for many of 
the guerrillas were drunk and reckless. Calling Captain Gregg 
to the middle of Massachusetts street, Quantrill pointed to a 
large white house on the hill beyond the "Wakarusa and said he 
would wait for him there one hour. Quantrill rode to the place 
of assembly and there formed and marched out the greater part 
of his command. They went directly south, crossing the Waka- 
rusa at Blanton's bridge and rode up to the white house and 
dismounted to readjust their trappings and their plunder, of 
which every horse carried much. 

Gregg called Jacob Rote, the boy forced to guide them into 
Lawrence, put a new suit on him, gave him a horse left by a 
guerrilla when a better one had been stolen hi the city, and dis- 
missed him. Early in the morning Gregg and Bledsoe were 
standing mounted on the bank of the river. Gregg saw a soldier 
on the north bank climb out on a leaning willow and take delib- 
erate aim; the guerrilla supposed the distance too great for the 
range of a gun. But the ball whizzed by his breast and struck 
Bledsoe in the groin wounding him severely. Gregg got a heavy 
carriage of the city-hack variety and placed Bledsoe in it to 


take him back to Missouri. This hack he sent out with the ad- 

The prisoners at the City Hotel had passed their time as 
best they could. Sentries tramped their beats about the build- 
ing to keep them in and to keep bloodthirsty ruffians out, call- 
ing for food and eating as they walked. Some of the prisoners 
paced the floor in terror and anxiety. Others sat and discussed 
the terrible blow which had fallen on the city. Early in the 
day a ruffian, now believed to have been Skaggs, took from Miss 
Lydia Stone a diamond ring which had been given to her by 
Quantrill after his recovery from a severe illness through which 
she had nursed him in the fall of 1860. She did not fancy the 
idea of losing this ring, and, noting the guerrilla carefully, 
described him to Quantrill, who swore it should be returned. 
In a short time the ruffian was brought up and forced to give 
back the ring, which he did with ill grace, muttering under his 

breath that she would be "d d sorry for it." When the 

main body of the guerrillas had gone, Skaggs and one other 
drunken ruffian returned to the hotel and ordered the prisoners 
to come out, using very coarse and vulgar language in the order. 
The prisoners, supposing they must obey, crowded through the 
door to the south porch, but not all of them got out before the 
bushmen opened fire. The crowd surged back indoors, shouting, 
"They are shooting the prisoners." Most of the prisoners ran 
down the bank to the ferry. Captain Stone was mortally wound- 
ed by the guerrillas and died that day, and a peddler named 
Brown was wounded, but recovered. 

Captain Gregg found the drunken stragglers extremely re- 
fractory. Some of them fired the gunshop just west of the 
camp, on the east side of Massachusetts street, owned by D. W. 
Palmer, who had escaped to that time. The proprietor and 
another citizen believed the guerrillas were gone and had come 
from hiding and were standing in the door as the last squad 
rode by. They were fired on and both wounded. The building 
was set on fire. The hands of the wounded men were tied to- 
gether and they were flung into the burning house. The men 
struggled up and got to the front wall of the blazing shop. 
With whoops and cries of exultation the inhuman ruffians 


thrust them back with their revolvers. Amid their cries of joy 
Palmer again rose, the cords having been burned away from his 
arms. He raised his hands above his head, and as the flames 
wrapped him in a sheet of fire he sank back, on his face a look 
of indescribable agony. With yells of triumph and satisfaction 
the monsters mounted their plunder-laden horses and rode re- 
joicing on their way. 

At the foot of Mount Oread, Captain Gregg found a drunk- 
en guerrilla trying to burn a small house. Two or three times 
he got the ruffian out at the gate, but he would return. The 
last time he went in he fell on the porch in a drunken stupor. 
Scattered about the yard were many greenback bills, and Gregg 
picked up a large roll of them, not noticing the denominations. 
This is all the plunder he secured that day and all he tried to 
get, and he did not pick up half the bills he saw, all of which 
had been dropped by his drunken companion, who had secured 
them by robbery. Time was precious, and he left the drunken 
wretch on the porch and rode aw'ay. The next day when he 
counted his money he found he had one hundred and ninety- 
nine one-dollar bills. The fellow he left on the porch followed 
and got to Missouri. 

Skaggs would not be hurried by the party gathering strag- 
glers. He was drunk and exultant. He stopped at the residence 
of Fred W. Read and as he entered the house he insinuatingly 
said, "I have come to make a call." Mrs. Read said, "I am 
not receiving calls." He said he would burn the house and de- 
manded matches, which Mrs. Read refused to give him. He 
went into another room and found matches, and, laying his pistol 
on the piano, he began to strike them. When one was lighted 
Mrs. Read would immediately blow it out. This continued ten 
minutes, when he said, "You are the queerest woman I ever 
saw!" At this instant James Faxon came to the door, when 
Mrs. Read cried out, "Run for your life!" Faxon escaped, 
though pursued by Skaggs, who returned to the house in a fury 
and threatened to shoot Mrs. Read. As he was about to do this 
it occurred to him that his fellow-ruffians might all be gone, and 
he hurried out, saying as he mounted his horse: "I have staid 
here so long I fear I shall be killed ! ' ' 


No praise can be too great for the women of Lawrence on 
that black day. With indomitable courage they faced the ruf- 
fians. With ready resources they concealed husbands, sons, sol- 
diers, friends, and went forth to outwit the shaggy bushmen bent 
on murder. They threw themselves into the breach without 
counting the consequences. They fought fire, stood undaunted 
in the presence of death, seized and quenched lighted brands, 
clung desperately to the reins of plunging horses, and battled 
with ruffians and flames to save trapped and hidden husbands 
from burning in their own homes. Quantrill said the men of 
Lawrence were a set of cowards, but that the women were hero- 
ines. Let the people of Lawrence set up a stone in that city to 
the memory of the women who bore the burden of that horrible 
day. Let it be as strong, as graceful, in as fine proportion, and 
as enduring as their devotion, as their scorn of danger and death, 
as their interepid bravery, as their unfaltering courage, and as 
their undying fame. 

William Speer, son of John Speer, finally got home, in com- 
pany with his chum, the late Frank C. Montgomery. Mrs. Speer 
was greatly excited, weeping for her children, her hands and 
arms severely burned in saving her home 
from the torch. She gave William an old 
gun and told him to go and kill some of 
the guerrillas. On this mission he and 
Montgomery started forth. In the south 
part of town they hid behind a hedge as 
Skaggs came by just ahead of some sol- 
diers and Indians who had crossed the 
river at the ferry. Young Speer poked 
his gun through the hedge and fired at 
Skaggs, hitting him in the shoulder and 
knocking him from his horse. As he fell, 
White Turkey, the Delaware, came up and white Turkey, the Delaware 
said: "Him kill everybody; me kill 

him," and shot him through the heart. The Delaware scalped 
the guerrilla and hurried on in the pursuit. 1 

i Larkin Milton Skaggs was descended from those hardy wilderness- 
breakerg known in history as the "Long Hunters." They settled in Ken- 


The last man killed was a Mr. Rothrock, a Dunkard min- 
ister, who lived some ten miles south of Lawrence. He lived a 
little way from the road, and a gang rode down to his house and 
ordered the women to cook them a breakfast. This was done. 
While eating they inquired of the women whom the old gentle- 

tucky, in which state many of their descendants yet live and where Larkin 
M. Skaggs was born. He came to Missouri at an early day and settled 
in Cass county. He was a Baptist minister, and had it not been for the 
demoralization caused by slavery agitation he would have ended his days 
in usefulness and respectability. But he was one of the earliest border- 
ruffians. He was at the sacking of Lawrence, May 21, 1856, and at the 
sackings of Osawatomie, and Captain Ely Snyder made special efforts to 
meet him where a Sharps 's rifle could be used. 

Skaggs raged against his neighbors who favored the Union. Long 
before the Civil War he had quit the church and was a blustering, swear- 
ing, vulgar ruffian. One of his neighbors, D. P. Hougland, has written an 
article entitled "Voting for Lincoln in Missouri in 1860," published in 
Volume IX, Kansas Historical Collections. There it is described how Larkin 
Skaggs came to Hougland 's house to kill him in 1860. "A man that was 
in the crowd when he started to come told me afterwards that Larkin 
said he didn't want a better job than killing that damned negro lover; 
and that his brother Willis caught him by the arms and told him he 
shouldn't go, but that others pulled him loose and said: 'Let him go; 
it will save a lot of trouble.' " 

The author knew many of the relatives of Skaggs in Kentucky, and in 
fact grew up near some of them, and knows that the family was a good 
one. No other member of it ever came to a bad end, so far as the 
author ever heard. And but for the awful conditions existing on the 
border Larkin M. Skaggs would have died in his own bed and in his church, 
a respected and useful member of society. The indignities to which his 
body was subjected were barbarous and wholly inexcusable, and never 
would have been permitted in Lawrence at any other time than immediately 
after the Massacre. No matter what his crimes, resentment should have 
stopped at death, and would have done so but for the excitement under 
which the people labored after that bloody and terrible day. 

C. M. Chase, in the letter to his paper, from which quotations have 
already been made, says: 

So we rode into town. The first sight attracting my attention was 
a negro rushing through the streets on horseback, dragging the dead body 
of a dead rebel, with a rope around his neck hitched to his saddle. A 
crowd was following pelting the rebel with stones. 

There was an attempt later by the negroes to burn the body, which 
was not successful. The bones lay naked all winter in a ravine in the 
town, and negroes and boys sawed finger rings from some of them. No 
part of the body was ever given burial. 


man was. He had no idea of the danger in which he stood, 
and remained at the house. When told that he was a minister, 

the guerrillas said: "Oh, we intend to kill all the d d 

preachers," shot him several times, and rode away. He lived 
but a few minutes. 

Two marriages resulted from incidents which occurred on 
that awful "Black Friday." A young man took refuge under a 
pig-pen, where he was found by a young lady, a stranger to 
him, after the guerrillas were gone. In a few months these 
young people were married. 

A young man named Haseltine was captured very early in 
the morning and carried to a liquor shop in the rear part of 
which the proprietor lived. The guerrillas killed the liquor- 
seller, and the housemaid was forced to serve them with liquor. 
Unobserved she put the money from the cash-drawer into her 
pocket. She entertained the ruffians as well as her limited 
knowledge of liquors would admit, talking with brightness and 
animation all the while. When they drew their revolvers and 
took Haseltine to the street to kill him she rushed out and threw 
her arms around him, screaming and imploring the ruffians to 
spare her dear brother. She had won them by her courageous 
course in the shop and now they spared her "brother," a young 
man she had never seen before. The end was marriage. 

Whatever can be said to the credit of any guerrilla in Law- 
rence should be set down. Not all of them were inhuman mon- 
sters, though many were. Even the worst were touched with pity 
sometimes and showed kindness. In many instances they offered 
to help remove furniture from buildings they fired. One bearded 
ruffian, bristling with deadly weapons, held the baby and enter- 
tained it by walking the floor and with "baby-talk" while Mrs. 
Fisher got him a lamp. Holding this babe touched his heart and 
he rode away at Mrs. Fisher's request to allow her to put out the 
fire he had helped to light. The building in which Mrs. Hoyt kept 
boarding-house was spared because she was a poor widow. Gen- 
eral Holt protected H. S. Clarke and saved his life and dwell- 
ing. Because of the earnest pleading of the women, Doctor 


Griswold's house was not burned. George Todd protected the 
prisoners on the way from the Eldridge House to the City 
Hotel, and he saved the life of Arthur Spicer, whom Quantrill 
had before spared. Quantrill kept faith with the prisoners and 
protected them by a strong guard at the City Hotel, though it 
seemed at one time before they left the Eldridge House that he 
did not intend to keep his word with them. He listened to 
Stevens, his former attorney, and stood by his stipulation. Every 
guerrilla the author ever talked to said that there were men in 
the command which went to Lawrence who were opposed to 
going there at all and did not favor the purpose of the raid. 
Two showed their pistols, full-loaded and free of powder-soot 
to prove that they had not fired a shot and they expressed their 
purpose not to fire one in Lawrence. Captain William H. Gregg, 
who a certain malignant, soured, and disgruntled old woman 
says gave the command to "Wheel left; kill every man, woman 
and child ! ' ' showed mercy many times that awful day and saved 
life more than once. He killed men in Lawrence, no doubt, but 
he never in the world gave such a command as malice attributes 
to him, and would have shot any guerrilla heard giving it. It has 
never been charged that the chastity of any woman was violated 
at Lawrence. Quantrill, inhuman as he was and as fond of fallen 
women as he is known to have been, made it a law in his band 
that the violation of chastity would be punished by death, and 
it is said this penalty was inflicted more than once. Perhaps 
those who sometimes spared life at Lawrence did not often spare 
it. Morgan T. Mattox says the only order he heard at Lawrence 
was to kill every man who could carry a gun. The Lawrence 
Massacre was atrocious savagery, bloodthirsty brutality, was 
fiendish, diabolical, but any credit due the guerrillas individ- 
ually must be freely given. Some showed no mercy. Bill Gaw, 
Allen Farmer, and Dick Maddox are supposed to have killed 
more than any other three guerrillas. Peyton Long is said to 
have killed more citizens in Lawrence than any other guerrilla. 
The band of Bill Anderson did more killing than that of any 
other captain. Jesse James was not at Lawrence ; he did not join 
the guerrillas until late the following fall. Frank James was as 



ferocious and merciless as a hyena. The Youngers did bloody 

When the guerrillas were gone, the citizens came from their 
hiding-places. What a sight met their eyes! The city was in 
ruins. Where had stood blocks of buildings were cellars filled 
with burning timbers and smoul- 
dering merchandise. But two busi- 
ness houses remained on Massachu- 
setts street. Dwellings were burned 
everywhere and lay now smoking 
ashheaps. Dead men lay in the 
streets, some half consumed by the 
fires, and others blackened masses 
of charred remains. Long rows of 
them had been dragged by devoted 
women through leaden hail into 
vacant lots away from burning 
buildings. Widows who, an hour 
before were happy wives, wailed in 
the desolate streets as they sought 
the stiffening corpses of their murdered husbands. Trails of 
blackening blood indicated where many a helpless victim ran in 
hope to find some haven of safety, when pursued by murderous 
wretches vain hope, as his pale form, bloodstained and lifeless, 
would plainly show! Piercing screams rose on the smoke-laden 
air as some poor woman threw herself upon the dead body of hus- 
band or son sought and found in the ruins. Women moaned 
piteously and wrung their hands in despair as they went from 
corpse to corpse peering into death-white faces in search of loved 
ones now missing. Above all hung the clouds of black smoke 
like a funeral pall. Men called through the gloom for volunteers 
to assemble the dead and make their graves. Purged with fire, 
sihitten with the sword, choked with dead, the mourners crying 
in the streets, plague and famine threatened, and terror, afflic- 
tion and desolation descended on the city. 3 

a The dead numbered about one hundred and fifty, but as many bodies 
were consumed in the flames the exact number can never be known. Eev. 
Mr. Cordley, in his History of Lawrence, gives the following list: 

Old Stone Building, Lawrene, 
Opposite Stone'* Hotel 


It is but just that this account should close with the cry 
wrung from the heart of one who passed through it all, endured 
it all, and lost one son shot to death and one burned alive still 
a kindly, just, patient, God-fearing man, and, as pioneer and 

Names of seventeen recruits killed from a total of twenty-two: 

Andergon, C. Parker, Asbury 

Allen, Charles E. Parker, Isaac 

Cooper, James F. Riggs, Charles F. 

Green, John E Speer, Eobert 

Griswold, Walter B. S. Watson, John 

Halderman, Aaron Waugh, William A. 

Markle, David Wilson, James 

Markle, Lewis Woods, Andrew 
Markle, Samuel 

Names of citizens killed: 

Albach, George Gentry, 

Allen, E. Green, John 

Alwes, Gates, Levi 

Anderson, John Gill, John 

Allison, D. C. Griswold, Dr. J. F. 

Argel, Griswold, Abner 

Allen, Clay (col.) Griswold, Watt 

Bell, Capt. Geo. W. Gregg, 

Bowers, Samuel Hendrix, ' 

Brechtlesbauer, James Hay, Chester 

Brant, H , Cal 

Burt, George Holmes, Nathan 

Burns, Dennis, Johnson, M. 

Burns, Michael, Johnson, Ben 

Carpenter, Judge Louis Jones, Samuel 

Coates, George Kimball, Fred 

Collamore, Gen. Geo. W. Keefe, Pat. [Keith, Patrick?] 

Crane, John L. Klaus, William 

Cloud, Charles Klaus, Fred 

Cooper, James, Kleffer, W. M. E. 

Coleman, L. D. Laurie, John 

Cornell, Laurie, William 

Dix, Ralph C. Leonard, Christopher 

Dix, Stephen H. Lambert, 

Dyre, Uncle Frank Little, John 

Dulinsky, Sylvester Limboch, Henry 

Ehles, August Laner, Christian 

Eldridge, James Longley, Otis 

Ellis, (col.) Loomis, Eich. 

Evans, John Lowe, Joseph 

Engler, Carl McFarland, 

Englesman, McClellan, 

Fitch, Edward P. McFadden, J. 

Fillmore, Lemuel Martin, E. 

Frawley, John Murphy, Dennis 

Frank, Joseph Makin, Michael 

Fritch, S. H. Martha, 

Giebal, Anthony Meeky, M. 


commonwealth-builder, the noblest Roman of them all John 
Speer, the Covenanter : 3 

3 Written for the Globe-Democrat, and published in that paper Octo- 
ber 8, 1898. It was in response to an article written by Captain William 
H. Gregg and published in the same paper. 

Nathan, W. Stewart, Henry 

Oldham, Anthony (col.) Smith, Charles 

Oehrle, Schwab, John 

O'Neil, James Sanger, George H. 

Palmer, Charles Sargeant, G. H. 

Palmer, Daniel W. Stonestreet, Benj. 

Ferine, James Stone, Nathan 

Pope, George Swan, L. L. 

Pollock, J. Thorpe, S. M . 

Purington, David H. Trask, Josiah C. 

Eoach, Turk, 

Keedmiller, A. Wise, Louis 

Eeynolds, Samuel Williamson, W. T. 

Range, George Wood, James 

Eange, Samuel Waugh, Addison 

Speer, John M. Zimmerman, John 

Snyder, Bev. S. S. 

Mr. G. Grovenor was employed in 1868 to remove the bodies of vic- 
tims of the raid buried in the old cemetery, to the new cemetery, where a 
monument was erected. Mr. Grovenor 's statement and list of names ap- 
peared in the Lawrence Journal, June 1, 1895, and the author was fur- 
nished a list by Mr. Grovenor: 
To the Editor of the Journal: 

Presuming that many of your readers may be interested to know who 
of the victims of the Quantrell raid are buried in the plat of ground 
where the new monument has just been erected, and having the list of 
names so far as is known I take pleasure in furnishing it. In all there 
are fifty-three bodies buried in that plat, forty-seven of which were taken 
from the ' ' trench ' ' in the old cemetery southwest of the University, 
where they were buried the day following the raid, one W. M. B. Kliffler, 
from a single grave in the same cemetery and five from the river bank 
near the present canning factory. 

The names of the forty-seven that were buried in the trench as taken 
at the time by Mrs. Samuel Simpson and numbered in the order of their 
burial, are as follows: 

1. Bichard Loomis, 13. Ben Johnson, 

2. M. Johnson, 14. Charles Cloud, 

3. Geo. Pope, 15. Uncle Frank Dyre, 

4. Gentry, 16. Benj. Stonestreet, colored, 

5. Unknown, 17. Nathan Holmes, 

6. Unknown, 18. Gregg, 

7. John Wilson, 19. P. Cornell, colored, 

8. Soldier of fourteenth regiment, 20. E. Allen r 

9. Unknown, 21. Charles Palmer, 

10. Cal. H , 22. Daniel Palmer, 

11. Unknown, 23. John W. Laurie, 

12. Uncle Henry, colored, 24. Wm. Laurie, 


Wichita, Kan. 

Special Correspondence of the Globe-Democrat. 

I have read in your daily of the 20th ult., and the semi- 
weekly of the 23d, a statement of Capt. William H. Gregg, who 
claims to have been Quantrell 's First Lieutenant in the Law- 
rence massacre, which I think ought to be replied to. 

Every thing is magnified by this man. He counts forty 
tents of soldiers at the entrance to the town, and exultantly 
declares they were all killed. There were twenty-one boys in 
tents, and three escaped. They were not 
soldiers. They were boys, so young that 
it was a common remark that Capt. Beam 
was gathering in all the infants who were 
before considered of ages unfit for ser- 
vice; they were called "Beam's Babes." 
They were not mustered into the service; 
and, perhaps, none of them could have 
been legally held without the consent of 
parents. They had not a single gun. But 
if forty tents had been full of such men, 
armed, Quantrell would not have entered 
the town. Quantrell knew, and undoubt- 
edly informed his Lieutenant of that fact ; 
and to kill those boys without a chance 

John Covenanter ^ surren( J er was ^ brutal a murder of 

the innocents as was ever committed by savages. Then, right 






John Green, 

Samuel Markle, 

Lewis Markle, 

David Markle, 



L. D. Coleman, 



Joseph Frank, 


August Ehlis, 


Thos. Murphy, 

43. Christopher Leonard, 



Chas. Allen, 

C. S. 

W. Nathan, 


The remains of these bodies were taken up in the spring, as I re- 
member, of '68, placed in boxes and numbered and removed to Oak Hill 
cemetery and buried in order, so that each body can be located. Six 
bodies originally buried in the "trench" had previously been removed by 
friends. The names of these are: 

1. John Gille 4. 

2. Geo. Coates, 

3. John , 

Ealph Dix, 

5. Stephen Dix, 

6. Christopher Leonard. 

The names of the five persons buried on the river bank I have never 
been able to learn, they are buried in the grave immediately back of the 
monument and on the north side of the walk. 


after this scene of carnage, he describes their arrival at "a kind 
of ravine," which is the crossing of Massachusetts and Warren 
streets, and says: "Near that ravine was a collection of struc- 
tures in part of boards and in part of hay. Those shacks were 
filled with household goods stolen from Jackson County by the 
Kansans on their raids into Missouri. There were feather-beds 
and all manner of household effects. There were pianos which 
had cost $1000 apiece. We didn't have cheap pianos in those 
days.- The inhabitants of the shacks were mostly negroes who 
had been run off from their owners hi Missouri. I recognized 
some from my own neighborhood. We went among the shacks 
touching matches to the hay." 

This statement is entirely false. I passed that place going 
to and coming from my work every day, morning, noon and 
night ; and no shacks were there, and nothing was burned. The 
only building near that place was a small stone building, one 
story high, which escaped fire. They then passed without firing 
John Dean's wagon shop, where Quantrell once worked, and the 
store of Gurdon Grovenor, on the east side of the street. The 
west side was fired a little south of Grovenor 's. Two large fur- 
niture and undertaking establishments, Ridenour's and Baker's, 
on the east, and all else on both sides of the street in that block 
were burned. It is safe to say there never was a piano stolen 
from Missouri and brought to Lawrence. In the Union com- 
mand under Lane was Capt. John G. Haskell, as quartermaster, 
and no such thing could have occurred without his knowledge 
and connivance. He never tolerated such a thing. The only 
band of suspicious characters was a small band, exclusively horse- 
men, called "Red Legs," which Gen. Blunt soon disbanded. 
They could not carry "thousand-dollar" pianos on horseback. 

This man belittles the work of that day by pretending 
that they destroyed $150,000, "as much property that had 
belonged to Jackson County people as that belonging to the citi- 
zens of Lawrence." He tries to reduce the thefts to petty 
larceny. More than $80,000 over half his estimate of Law- 
rence losses were destroyed in two stores, Bullene 's dry goods 
and Ridenour & Baker's groceries, etc. The official statement 
is $882,390.11, reported in hopes of relief by the government, 
state or national. These excluded notes, accounts, etc. John 
N. Edwards in "Shelby and His Men," says: "Every hotel, 
except the City Hotel, was burned. Other property valued at 
$2.000,000 was also fired and consumed." Hon. Hovey E. Low- 
man in his history, says: "They destroyed something near 
$2,000,000 of property, left eighty widows and 250 orphans, as 
the result of their four hours' work." This Lieutenant says: 


"As we went along, he (Quantrell) fired to the left and I to the 
right." No being in sight was spared. 

This man has the audacity to say: "We waged no war 
on women and children. If any women or children were ever 
hurt by Quantrell's men, it was accidental. I have always 
believed that most of the men killed at Lawrence were soldiers." 
There were no soldiers, except six to eight, absent on leave. I 
think I can name them: Oapt. A. R. Banks, who surrendered 
the town as provost marshal; Andrew J. Shannon, - 
Hazeltine, John A. Rankin, William K. Rankin, Maj. J. B. 
Abbott and Capt. Frank B. Swift; the two latter resigned, and 
one man, whose name I can not remember. There was not a 
soldier killed. 

Two weeks before a report came that Quantrell was pre- 
paring for a dash on Lawrence, and something near 400 men 
were rallied, and every preparation made for defense. No en- 
emy appeared. It was a great expense to the town, and a great 
loss to farmers, who were just gathering in their crops. Every- 
body was disgusted with what was considered a false alarm. A lull 
of excitement pervaded all such as had never been experienced. 
Capt. Frank B. Swift was among the prisoners taken to the 
City Hotel; and Quantrell told him that the report he was com- 
ing was true ; that he knew of our preparations, and waited till 
he knew all fear was over and the way clear. Quantrell knew 
there was not a soldier prepared for action, and the massacre of 
the town was contemplated. In cowardice and brutality, it had 
no parallel. No honorable Southern soldier ever recognized 
Quantrell's men as a part of the Confederate army. 

The Kansas River was very high, and the ferry cable was cut 
by QuantrelPs men as soon as they could reach it. There hap- 
pened to be camped on the north side of the river sixteen brave 
soldiers, who immediately opened fire across the river whenever 
they could see a head. Quantrell then threatened to murder 
everybody, and Miss Lydia Stone, daughter of the landlord of the 
City Hotel, which Quantrell spared, went to the river bank, and 
called pleadingly to the soldiers to stop, or no person would be 
left alive. 

This man, who now so unprovokedly harrows up the souls 
of the living over their innocent dead, says of the only man 
killed : ' ' We lost but one man in Lawrence Milt. Skaggs. 
The citizens shot him. Then one of them tied him to a horse 
and dragged him through the streets, until his body was naked. 
After that he was hung to the limb of a tree, and riddled with 
bullets and stoned. This is what we were told afterward by 



John M. Speer, 
Murdered by Skaggs 

persons present. ' ' Now for a specimen on the retaliation theory ; 

and then for Skaggs: 

In April, 1855, the writer brought three prattling boys up 

the Missouri River through that state, aged, respectively, 11, 

9 and 7 years. He never touched a dollar of Missouri property, 

nor lifted his hand in anger against any 

man in the state, nor can he recollect an 

unkindly word spoken by him or to him 

in Missouri. These innocent lads had 

never looked across the line of that state. 

As Skaggs reached the corner of New 

Hampshire and Henry streets, he met 

John, the oldest of these boys; demanded 

his money, and he handed up his pocket- 
book, saying he had but little, and was 

instantly shot down, wounded. Skaggs 

passed on. Three men fired a house; as 

the wounded boy lay within 10 feet of 

it, he implored them to move him, and 

not let him burn alive. One of them 

shot him dead. The fire went out. 

The second son, Robert, was burned in the ruins, whether 

dead or alive, God only knows. The third, William, was 

a prisoner, and only escaped death by giving his name as 

Smith. The men who captured him read a paper to see if any 

Smith was doomed to die. Dr. Moore, brother of Hon. H. L. 

Moore, heard a man in the ranks, whom he supposed to be 

Quantrell, give orders as to who should die, and he read Speer 
as among the doomed. After terrible 
abuse, and three attempts, William 
escaped. As Quantrell evacuated the 
town, Skaggs and two others rode back 
to the City Hotel, called out the landlord, 
Mr. Stone, and shot him dead. Stone 
was the man who had secreted Quantrell 
when the sheriff was after him for horse- 
stealing. Then they advanced toward 
Quantrell 's command; but halted at the 
house of one of our best citizens, brutally 
treated his wife, holding her by the 
wrists while they fired the house; and 
then, when the smoke got thick, forcibly 
took her out of the house, so that she 
might not put the fire out, and robbed 

her of a pair of little gold armlets belonging to her dead babe. 

Robert Speer, 
Burned live by the Guerrillas 


Thence he struck out for the command, but ran up against some 
countrymen, who halted him. Just then the escaped boy 
appeared upon the scene with a loaded rifle he had found, and, 
telling his mother of the carnage and his escape, she said: 
"There is one of them go and shoot him."